Apple iPhone X
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Iconcase Adds Notification Lights to Your iPhone
Do you ever wish your iPhone had a notification light? Do you use the LED flash to notify you of incoming calls, but wish it weren't blindingly bright? Iconcase is an attractive new case for iPhones that adds a large notification light to the back. The newest model charges by sipping a little juice whenever the iPhone is wirelessly charging through the case, so you never have to worry about charging it. It communicates with the iPhone via standards built in to Bluetooth LE, so you only need to pair it; no special app or setting is required. The standard model includes one light-up icon for incoming calls and second for messages. The company is also working on a range of cases with fixed full-color designs that light up, and a skull design with eyes that light up red. The company says they are close to a deal to sell the cases through Apple's online store in the US. Pricing has yet to be determined, but is expected to be roughly $50. Read on for our hands-on impressions and photos.
Apple Rolls Out iPhone X Display Replacement Program
Apple has quietly launched a replacement program for the display of the iPhone X. The company's support page provides the details. "Apple has determined that some iPhone X displays may experience touch issues due to a component that might fail on the display module," said the company. In certain instances, Apple says the display or part of the display may not respond to touch input, or responds intermittently. In other instances, the display reacts even though it was not touched. People who own an iPhone X can take it to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to have the display module replaced for free. No other phone qualifies for this program.
Apple Seeds iOS 12 Beta 7 to Developers
Apple has made a new beta of iOS 12 available to its developer community. iOS 12 developer beta 7 was released today to registered developers. Apple didn't spell out any specific changes in this build other than bug fixes and improvements. iOS 12 includes a number of new features, such as improved notifications, memoji for the iPhone X, performance refinements, Screen Time for monitoring usage, and better security. Apple has, however, pulled the Group FaceTime feature, according to a report from The Verge. "Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12," said Apple in a message to developers. Instead, Group FaceTime "will ship in a future software update later this fall." The final version of iOS 12 won't arrive until September or October. A new public beta is expected to arrive later this week.
Apple Pay Expanding to CVS and 7-Eleven
Apple Pay will reach CVS and 7-Eleven retail locations later this year, said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the company’s earnings call with investors. The company didn’t say when Apple Pay will reach these retailers, but they are on deck. Apple noted that Apple Pay was responsible for more mobile payments than Square and PayPal combined during the second quarter of the year. Apple Pay is available from the newest iPhones, which are equipped with the proper wireless radio chip. Apple Pay is secured with the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 6s, 7, and 8, and Face ID on the iPhone X.
iOS 12 Beta Updated for Public Testers
Apple has made new betas of iOS 12 available to its developer community and public testers alike. iOS 12 developer beta 5 was released earlier this week and iOS 12 public beta 4 was released today. Apple didn't spell out any specific changes in these builds. iOS 12 includes a number of new features, such as improved notifications, memoji for the iPhone X, performance refinements, Screen Time for monitoring usage, and better security. The final version of iOS 12 won't arrive until the fall months.
Qualcomm Says Apple Won't Use Its Modems In Next iPhone
Qualcomm today revealed that its legal trouble with Apple will have a larger impact on its business later this year. Apple may not use Qualcomm's chips in future iPhones, representing a huge loss for Qualcomm. "We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitor's modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release," said CFO George Davis during a conference call with analysts and press. "We will continue to provide modems for Apple legacy devices," meaning older iPhones that are still in production. Apple is one of Qualcomm's biggest customers, but the two have been tangled in a legal battle over royalties since last year. The last few iPhones have relied on a mix of Qualcomm and Intel modems. Intel's modems don't perform as well as Qualcomm's in some network environments, and yet Apple appears to have chosen Intel moving forward. Apple declined to comment on Qualcomm's revelation.
Latest iOS 12 Betas Reach Developers and Public Testers
Apple has made new betas of iOS 12 available to its developer community and public testers. iOS 12 developer beta 4 was released earlier this week and iOS 12 public beta 3 was released today. The updated betas are cleaner than their respective predecessors; Apple didn't spell out any specific changes. iOS 12 includes a number of new features, such as improved notifications, memoji for the iPhone X, performance refinements, Screen Time for monitoring usage, and better security. The final version of iOS 12 won't arrive until the fall.
Apple to Bring More Emoji to iPhone Later This Year
Apple today committed to adopting more than 70 new emoji. The Unicode Consortium announced Unicode 11, which includes dozens of new emoji, in February and made the final version available in June. Apple says new emoji characters will soon grace the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. Unicode 11 brings new representation for emoji with options for red hair, gray hair, curly hair, and no hair, as well as more food, animals, sports, and other items. Apple didn't specifically say Unicode 11 will be added to iOS 12, but that is the route Apple is most likely to pursue. iOS 12 is already in beta testing and will be distributed to iOS devices in September or October.
AT&T Rolls Out iPhone X BOGO for Father's Day
AT&T today made it possible to buy one iPhone X and get a second iPhone for free. The offer is available to new and existing customers, and requires both phones to be purchased on an AT&T Next installment plan (24 or 30 months). The first line can be new or an upgrade, but the second line — with the free iPhone — must be a new line. The second free iPhone can be the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X. After approximately three billing periods, AT&T will begin making the monthly device payments spread out over 30 months. Customers will be responsible for taxes and activation fees on both phones at the point of sale. The offer ends June 19.
Apple Confirms It Will Lock iPhone Lightning Port to Protect Users from Law Enforcement
Apple today said it will change the behavior of iPhones in order to protect its users. The company plans to alter its software to lock the Lightning port of iOS devices that are not used for an hour. The function, called USB Restricted Mode, prevents data transfer via USB, though the phone can still charge through a Lightning cable. The idea is to thwart law enforcement use of GrayShift and Cellebrite boxes, which are able to crack iOS security using a direct USB connection through the Lightning port. The devices work by disabling the number of times passwords/PINs can be guessed by the machine before the iPhone is locked or erased. "We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data," said Apple in a statement to Reuters. "We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs." The Lightning port will be re-enabled for data transfer once the owner enters their password, PIN, fingerprint, or Face ID. Apple primarily expects the feature to protect consumers "in countries where police seize phones at will." Researchers discovered USB Restricted Mode in beta builds of iOS 10.4 last month. Apple told Reuters that it will be added permanently to iOS in a future release.
iOS 12 Supports Alternate Faces for ID on iPhone X
iOS 12 adds a surprising feature to the iPhone X: support for up to two different faces for the Face ID security feature. Under the settings for Face ID, it's now possible to set a second face. The description reads "In addition to continuously learning how you look, Face ID can recognize an alternative appearance." Using the tools, it is simple to record two different faces for securing and unlocking the iPhone X. Apple did not call this feature out on stage during its recent WWDC keynote, and it's possible the feature will change while iOS 12 undergoes beta development.
Apple Says iOS 12 Will Be Faster, Work Better On Older iPhones
Apple today announced iOS 12, its next-generation platform for the iPhone and iPad. Apple says it spent time improving the performance of the operating system, which in claims will work well on iPhones and iPads that went on sale as far back as 2013. iOS 12 makes changes to how it handles CPU requirements, able to cycle up instantly to handle intense tasks and cycle back down to conserve power. It claims some apps will launch up to 40% faster. In addition to performance, iOS 12 is taking a big step forward with augmented reality. It debuted a new augmented reality file format called USDZ that developers can put to use when creating content. Apple says measurements are important to AR, so it is adding a real-world measuring tool to iOS 12 allowing people to measure physical objects through AR. ARKit 2.0 includes improved face tracking, 3D object detection, realistic rendering, and shared AR experiences. iOS 12 will make improvements to search in Photos with search suggestions, such as people, places, dates, and actions. It adds tools such as suggested sharing, suggested animations, and "remember this day" style images that all fall under a new tab called For You. iOS 12 promises "shortcuts" for Siri, which expose quick actions to Apple's voice-controlled assistant. Developers will be able to add these actions to their own apps, expanding Siri's ability's across the iPhone. Siri will now proactively offer suggestions that are context-aware, such as placing calls or sending alerts. An new tool called Siri Shortcuts will allow people to build custom actions, such as commuting home, that will engage a number of activities, such as checking traffic, changing the thermostat, and turning on lights. iOS 12 makes refreshments to Apple News with a new browse tab for discovering channels and topics. News also gains a new sidebar for easier navigation. The Apple Stocks app gains integration with Apple News, pairing stock price changes with related business news. The voice memos app is rebuilt, and will be available to the iPad for the first time. Voice memos gains iCloud support so recordings stay synced across devices. The iBooks app has been renamed Apple Books, such as a new store, better resume behaviors, and more. iOS 12 adds support to third-party apps in CarPlay. iOS 12 makes a big push to limit excessive use of smartphones. The Do Not Disturb tool is being amped up for bedtime routines, limiting notifications and distractions. iOS 12 retools some notifications, giving people more control over notifications. The update will supported grouped notifications, as well as Siri-based suggestions to mute apps that aren't used often. Group notifications can be dismissed en masse. Another tool provides a full activity report on how much time people spend on their iPhones, such as time, time in apps, how often the phone is picked up, and which apps are sending the most notifications. People can set time limits for individual apps and these can all be controlled by parents within family groups. Parents can dole out device allowances for apps, devices, and more. The iPhone X gains four more emoji (ghost, koala, tiger, t-rex), as well as the ability to interact with the owner's tongue. iOS 12 introduces Memoji, or the ability to create personalized Animoji. iOS 12 will be made available in the fall.
New iOS and WatchOS Betas Available from Apple
Registered developers can download the latest versions of iOS and watchOS from Apple. Apple made both iOS 11.4.1 beta 1 and watchOS 4.3.2 beta 1 available for download. There's no word on what changes are baked into the latest code, though any changes are likely confined to bug fixes and performance improvements. Apple released iOS 11.4 to the general public earlier this week. iOS 11.4 introduced iMessage in the Cloud and AirPlay 2 to iPhones and iPads. Apple hasn't made public betas of iOS 11.4.1 and watchOS 4.3.2 available yet, but likely will before the end of the week.
Apple Releases iOS 11.4 with AirPlay 2
Apple today made iOS 11.4 available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The most significant new feature of iOS 11.4 is AirPlay 2, a more advanced version of Apple's wireless audio technology. AirPlay 2 lets people create multi-room wireless audio systems so music and other media can play on different devices in different rooms at the same time. Apple says built-in Control Center and Siri actions make it easy for people to control where the music is playing. AirPlay 2 works natively with Apple's own HomePod speaker. Apple says the HomePod can automatically stream music around the house without requiring users to first manually group them. Apple Music subscribers can ask Sir to play different songs in different rooms or the same song everywhere. Apple said AirPlay 2-enabled speakers are on the way from partners Bang & Olufsen, Bluesound, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Marshall, Naim, Pioneer and Sonos. Once these device makers add support for AirPlay 2, owners will be able to use Siri to control music on these third-party speakers, too. HomePod owners can turn on support for personal requests, which allow them to send messages, add reminders, check calendar appointments, set timers, play podcasts, and catch up on news, sports, traffic, and the weather. iOS 11.4 also introduces Messages in iCloud. This tool lets people store complete message threads in iCloud for porting to new devices. Once synced, Messages in iCloud brings entire iMessage conversations to users' devices so they always have access to them. The other goal of Messages in iCloud is to free up local space on users' devices, as media embedded in messages is kept online, rather than stored locally on the iPhone. iOS 11.4 should be available starting at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern.
Latest Version of Google Maps for iOS Lets You Customize Your Car
iPhone owners can now have some fun with Google Maps by selecting a new navigation icon. Maps historically relies on a blue navigation arrow to indicate the user's location and direction of travel. Tapping the arrow will bring up a menu that allows people to select a car, pickup, or SUV to customize the experience. Earlier this year, Google let Android users opt for a Mario-style car for driving directions. Google says the latest version of Google Maps for iOS, with optional car graphics, is free to download from the iTuns App Store.
iPhone X Gains HDR Playback in YouTube
YouTube has rolled out support for HDR video playback on the Apple iPhone X. The latest version of YouTube adds the feature, which needs to be toggled on in the settings menu. The iPhone X is the first iPhone capable of playing HDR video, which offers more contrast than standard video. YouTube is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
iOS 11.4 Locks Out Lighting Port If Not Powered On for a Week
Researchers at Elmscroft have discovered that iOS 11.4 will lock the Lightning port on iPhones and iPads if the device is not powered on and unlocked for a week. The function, called USB Restricted Mode, prevents data transfer via USB, though the phone can still charge through a Lightning cable. Elmscroft suggests the addition to iOS 11.4 is meant to thwart law enforcement. In recent months it's become clear that law enforcement agencies around the country are using a gray box that can be used to unlock and decrypt iPhones and other devices without the owner's password, PIN, or fingerprint. Apple has not commented on the discovery and it may not be a final feature in iOS 11.4.
WhatsApp Adds Support for Facebook and Instagram Videos
WhatsApp today updated its iPhone app with new multimedia features. Moving forward, WhatsApp users who receive videos from Facebook or Instagram will be able to view them without leaving WhatsApp. This tool also supports picture-in-picture, allowing people to watch a video while navigating through their inbox. WhatsApp also gains new group admin tools, which allow administrators to revoke rights from participants as well as change group names, icons, and descriptions. WhatsApp for the iPhone is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple Reiterates that All New Apps Must Support iPhone X
Apple today released a new beta build of iOS 11.4 and reminded developers that they need to use the latest tools and support the newest devices as they code their apps. "Starting July 2018, all iOS app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X," said Apple on its developer web site. The company had previously said it would require iPhone X support by April; it has apparently extended that deadline by three months. The iPhone X display swaps the 16:9 aspect ratio found on the iPhone 7 and 8 for a 2:1 aspect ratio with a notch at the top. It also boosts the resolution beyond full HD. iOS 11 adds a significant number of tools for developers, such as Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, new SiriKit domains, better Apple Music integration, and drag-and-drop for the iPad. Developers can find the iOS 11 SDK on Apple's developer web site. Apple is expected to announce iOS 12 as soon as next month at its Worldwide Developer Conference.
Apple Pushes iOS 11.3.1 to Resolve Display Issue
Apple has distributed iOS 11.3.1 to iPhones and iPads in order to solve a problem with third-party displays. In some instances, screens of the iPhone 8 repaired with non-Apple displays became unresponsive to the touch. iOS 11.3.1 takes care of that issue. The update also, according to Apple, improves the security of all iPhones and iPads. iOS 11.3.1 is free to download.
Apple's New Robot Prevents Your Dead iPhone from Pushing Daisies
Apple today made several commitments to environmental conservation efforts based on recycling old iPhones. To start, the company will make a donation to Conservation International for every device recycled at Apple stores and Apple.com between now and April 30. Eligible devices will receive credit that customers can use toward an in-store purchase or put on an Apple Store Gift Card. The value will vary by device. Conservation International protects natural resources. Further, Apple debuted Daisy, a new robot that disassembles old iPhones in order to recover valuable materials for recycling purposes. Apple says Daisy can take apart nine different iPhone models, and disassemble up to 200 devices per hour, removing and sorting components. "At Apple, we’re constantly working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve our planet’s precious resources,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “In recognition of Earth Day, we are making it as simple as possible for our customers to recycle devices and do something good for the planet through Apple GiveBack. We’re also thrilled to introduce Daisy to the world, as she represents what’s possible when innovation and conservation meet." Apple continues to work to reduce its carbon footprint, use safer materials in its products, and power its facilities with clean energy. Last, Apple said it will send an alert to Apple Watch users on April 21 challenging them to go outside and complete 30 minutes of activity. Those who do will be rewarded with unique stickers in iMessage.
Apple Updates iMovie for iPhone X Display
Apple has updated its iMovie video editing application for the iPhone X. The latest version of iMovie now fully supports the Super Retina Display of the iPhone X, including the phone's notched screen. More importantly, iMovie 2.2.5 adopts Metal for improved graphics processing. Apple also took the time to improve the app's general stability and performance, and added support for simplified Chinese. iMovie 2.2.5 is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
T-Mobile Using Apple Business Chat to Bring Customer Service to iMessage
T-Mobile today said its iPhone customers can use the new Apple Business Chat feature to converse directly with T-Mobile customer service representatives. Apple Business Chat is a tool added via iOS 11.3, which Apple distributed to iOS devices last month. Moving forward, T-Mobile customers can message live T-Mobile customer service personnel from iMessage on their iPhone. T-Mobile says subscribers will be able to change their rate plan, change their address, buy a new phone, ask questions, make payments, check their balance, and more — all via chat. The service supports sending screenshots to customer service reps for troubleshooting purposes. Because iMessage is available on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches, customers can reach out to T-Mobile from whichever device they have on hand. iMessage is the native messaging application on iOS devices. Customers don't need to perform any updates to take advantage of Apple Business Chat. T-Mobile says more features like this are in the works.
Snapchat's TrueDepth Lenses for iPhone X Now Live
Snapchat has made a handful of lenses available specifically for the iPhone X. These lenses, first previewed last year, take advantage of the TrueDepth camera of the iPhone X and its 3D face-mapping capabilities. The result is more accurate and more form-fitting augmented reality masks that appear on users' faces. There are three AR Snapchat lenses to start, a gold eye mask, a Day of the Dead skull, and a Mardi Gras-style mask. Snapchat says the TrueDepth camera allows it to blur the background and more accurately handle ambient light with these lenses. The new lenses will only appear to those using Snapchat on an iPhone X. More are likely to be made available over time. Snapchat is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple Releases iOS 11.3 for iPhones
Apple today made iOS 11.3 available to the general public after testing it privately the last few months. First, iOS 11.3 provides iPhone users with more control over their phone's battery performance. People can asses the health of their iPhone's battery to see whether or not it needs to be replaced. The tool also allows people to turn off Apple's power management function that is used to prevent battery shutdowns at the expense of speed. iOS 11.3 introduces four new animoji for the iPhone X: a bear, lion, dragon, and skull, making for a total of 16. iOS 11.3 improves augmented reality for iPhones by expanding the ability to map surfaces to include horizontal and vertical surfaces. This means AR apps can place virtual objects on walls and doors, in addition to floors and tables. Apple says the iPhone's camera is now able to offer 50% greater resolution when shooting AR, and can take advantage of auto-focus for sharper results. iOS 11.3 adds a new tool to iMessage that will allow iPhone owners to chat with select businesses. Some early adopters include Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo. Through this new business chat feature, people can converse with service representatives, schedule appointments, and make purchases via Apple Pay. iOS 11.3 adds a new Health Records feature that lets health providers share patient health data in an easy-to-digest format. Patients can collect their health records from various institutions and view them in a single place on the iPhone. The health records support notifications for lab results, medications, conditions, and more. Apple says this data is encrypted and password-protected. Other features in iOS 11.3 include the addition of music videos to Apple Music, more video content within Apple News, software authentication for HomeKit devices, and support for Advanced Mobile Location so more accurate location data is made available to emergency services during 911 calls. iOS 11.3 is free to download from Apple.
Apple iWork Suite Update Targets Education
Apple today updated is entire suite of iWork productivity apps for iPhones, iPads, and Mac devices. The changes primarily tackle educational use of these apps and focus on bringing new features to Apple's mobile devices. For example, the apps now allow people to draw, write, or annotate documents using the Apple Pencil (on supported iPads) or your finger. A new Smart Annotation tool lets people add comments and marks that remain anchored to the text as files are shared via iCloud and/or Box. iWork adds digital book templates, the ability to add an image gallery, and new paragraph and character styles. People can use presenter mode to read and auto-scroll text while giving a speech, while iWork now lets people view pages side-by-side as they work, or turn on facing pages to format documents as two-page spreads. Other new tools include master pages to keep design consistent across layouts, instant document reorientation (landscape/portrait), editable shapes, donut charts, conditional highlighting, and fraction formatting. The iWork apps, which include Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, are free to download from the iTunes and Mac App Stores.
GarageBand Adds Kid-Friendly Sound Effects, iPhone X Face Controls
Apple today updated its GarageBand music-creation app with new sounds and features for kids and advanced users alike. For example, a downloadable Toy Box sound pack includes free education sound effects, such as animal calls, vehicle sounds, and counting in 10 different languages. The iPhone X gains access to a TrueDepth camera-based method for controlling musical effects, such as wah pedals and synth parameters. Apple says GarageBand for the iPhone X uses ARKit face tracking to translate facial expressions into instrument effect control. GarageBand adds more guitar stomp box effects, as well as stability improvements and bug fixes. GarageBands is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple Bulks Up Clips' Titles, Filters, Animations, and Stickers
Apple today updated its Clips video creation app for iPhones and iPads with a variety of new customization tools. For example, four additional Live Title styles include refreshed fonts, colors and layouts. The app gains new animated labels, animated stickers, Apple-designed posters for title cards, and drop shadows for adding depth. Clips for the iPhone X gains two new selfie scenes that include backgrounds from Disney films "Finding Dory" and "Monsters, Inc." Clips also fixes a bug that prevented some photos from being properly backed up in iCloud. Clips version 2.0.3 is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple Seeds iOS 11.3 Beta 6 to Developers and Public
Apple has made available iOS 11.3 Beta 6 to both developers and public testers. iOS 11.3 Beta 6 tweaks performance and includes the battery health meter for certain devices. The tool is meant to help people balance the battery life and performance of older iPhones. iOS 11.3 also introduces four more animoji for the iPhone X, business chat, AirPlay 2, and more personalized recommendations in News. Registered developers and public testers can download iOS 11.3 Beta 6 over the air. Apple said the final version of iOS 11.3 will be available to all consumers this spring. Spring kicks off March 20, and Apple has scheduled an event for March 27. It's possible Apple will provide the final version of iOS 11.3 in the next couple of weeks.
Apple Puts Family Resources On a Single Web Page
Apple recently published a new web site meant to help families manage their iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple accounts. The site offers high-level overviews of all the parental controls available, as well as deep-dive tutorials with step-by-step directions on how to enable each tool. Parents have long been able to manage iTunes purchases, control content, set time/usage limits, see location data, share calendars and iTunes purchases, and more. The new Families web page is meant to serve as a central resource. It describes in detail how parents can reduce distracted driving for teens, set family groups and manage communications, find lost devices, and so on. The web site arrives after shareholders published an open letter earlier this year asking the company to address smartphone addiction.
Smartphone Camera Shoot-Out: iPhone X, Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S9+
Is photography your passion? If so, and you're in the market for a new phone, the Apple iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ should be at the top of your list. Here’s a rundown of the features offered by each and how the three devices compare in a head-to-head shoot-out.
Fifth Beta of iOS 11.3 Reaches Developers
Apple today made a new beta version of iOS 11.3 available to developers. iOS 11.3 Beta 5 tweaks performance and includes the battery health meter for certain devices. The tool is meant to help people balance battery life and speed/performance of older iPhones. iOS 11.3 also introduces four more animoji for the iPhone X, business chat, AirPlay 2, and more personalized recommendations in News. Apple also released developer beta versions of High Sierra 10.13.4 and tvOS 11.3. Registered developers can download the various new betas through Apple's developer portal and/or over the air. The public version of iOS 11.3 Beta 5 will likely be released later this week. Apple said the final version of iOS 11.3 will be available to all consumers this spring.
Apple Releases Fourth Developer Beta of iOS 11.3
Apple today made a new beta version of iOS 11.3 available to developers. iOS 11.3 Beta 4 tweaks performance and includes the battery health meter for certain devices. The tool is meant to help people balance battery life and speed/performance of older iPhones. iOS 11.3 also introduces more animoji for the iPhone X, business chat, AirPlay 2, and more personalized recommendations in News. The public version of iOS 11.3 Beta 4 will likely be released later this week. Apple said the final version of iOS 11.3 will be available to all consumers this spring. Registered developers can download iOS 11.3 Beta 4 over the air.
Apple Seeds Third Public Beta of iOS 11.3
Apple today made iOS 11.3 Beta 3 available to those signed up to test pre-release versions of the platform. iOS 11.3 tweaks performance and includes the battery health meter for certain devices. The tool is meant to help people balance battery life and speed/performance of older iPhones. Other new features of iOS 11.3 include new animoji, new business chat functions in iMessages, and an update version of Apple’s ARKit augmented reality. Of note, the AirPlay 2 features that appeared in the second beta has been removed for the time being. Apple said the final version of iOS 11.3 will be available to all consumers this spring. Earlier this week, the company released iOS 11.2.6 to resolve several bugs. Apple also released tvOS 11.3 Beta 3 and macOS 10.13 Beta 3.
T-Mobile Rolls Out Another Deal for iPhones and Apple Watch
T-Mobile has a new promotion targeting Apple products. First, T-Mobile is offering a $200 rebate to those who purchase an iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus, 7, or 7 Plus. The rebate is being offered in addition to the value of a trade-in. People who trade a device in at T-Mobile stores will be given instant credit for the trade, though T-Mobile will accept trades sent via mail. Further, T-Mobile is offering a buy-one, get-one deal on iPhones. Customers who buy two iPhones and port-in or activate a new line of service on at least one device can receive the second device for free (via monthly bill credits). Customers will have to pay tax on purchases at the point of sale. People who cancel service will be responsible for paying the balance of any devices on their account. Last, T-Mobile is offering a deal on the Apple Watch 3. Those who buy one Apple Watch 3 can snag a second for half price ($215). These promotions kick off on February 23 and will be available for a limited time.
Review: Speck Presidio Ultra Case for iPhone X
Speck's newest case for the Apple iPhone X, the Presidio Ultra, is a three-piece kit that includes a base case, an extra bumper, and a rugged holster. If you need hardcore protection with a little bit of flexibility throughout the day, the Presidio Ultra is an interesting entry.
Review: IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O for iPhone
The iRig Pro I/O is a compact audio interface that lets musicians, singers, and podcasters connect their instruments or microphones to Apple iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It takes all the best features of the larger iRig Pro Duo and boils them down to the most essential tools in a highly portable package.
Apple Puts Its Foot Down, Will Require Apps Support iPhone X
Apple today told developers that soon all new apps submitted to the iTunes App Store must support the screen of the latest iPhone. "Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK, included in Xcode 9 or later," said Apple in an email to developers. "All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X." The iPhone X display swaps the 16:9 aspect ratio found on the iPhone 6, 7, and 8 for a 2:1 aspect ratio with a notch at the top. It also boosts the resolution beyond full HD. Apps that haven't yet been updated for the iPhone X often have black bars at the top and bottom, which look unsightly. Developers can find the iOS 11 SDK on Apple's developer web site.
Apple Releases iOS 11.3 Public Beta 2
Apple today made iOS 11.3 Beta 2 available to public testers. This build tweaks performance and adds Apple's promised battery health meter. The tool is meant to help people balance battery life and speed/performance of older iPhones. The new feature is a response to news that Apple slows down the performance of older iPhones to account for the degradation of lithium ion batteries. Apple said the final version of iOS 11.3 will be available to all consumers this spring.
Review: Kingston DataTraveler Duo Bolt for iPhone
The Kingston DataTraveler Duo Bolt is a small thumb drive that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone and saves all your photos and videos. If you're looking for a quick way to free up space on your iOS device, the DataTraveler Duo Bolt is ideal in certain situations.