Apple iPhone Xs Max
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Apple today made iOS 12.0.1 available to iPhones and iPads. This is the first public update since Apple released iOS 12 last month. The goal of today's update is to resolve performance issues and stamp out bugs that were part of the initial public release. For example, iOS 12.0.1 tackles a problem that prevented some iPhone Xs devices from charging properly via the Lightning port. It resolves a problem that caused iPhone Xs devices to join 2.4 GHz WiFi networks instead of 5 GHz networks. It fixes an issue that made Bluetooth unavailable, and a problem that prevented subtitles from appearing in some apps. It also restores the original position of the ".?123" key on the iPad keyboard, which had been switched with the emoji key. iOS 12.0.1 is free to download from Apple.
Apple today provided some clarity on the arrival of more emoji for iOS devices. Earlier this year, the iPhone-maker committed to adopting more than 70 new emoji that are based in Unicode 11. 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 says the new emoji will soon arrive on the iPhone and iPad via iOS 12.1. Separate updates to watchOS and macOS will bring the same new emoji to Apple's smartwatch and computers. In addition to the emoji, iOS 12.1 fixes certain iPhone bugs, such as the inability to charge when locked. Apple seeded developer and public betas of iOS 12.1 today and will likely test the update for several weeks before offering it to everyone.
Qualcomm has taken yet more action against Apple, which it alleges stole trade secrets and offered them to Intel in a bid to improve Intel's modems. This year's iPhones rely solely on Intel modems, rather the a mix of modems from Intel and Qualcomm, in part because Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a legal dispute over patents and licensing fees. Qualcomm claims Apple broke a software licensing agreement and shared confidential information about Qualcomm's modems with Intel engineers. Qualcomm accused Apple of undertaking a "multi-year campaign of sloppy, inappropriate and deceitful conduct ... for the purpose of improving lower-quality modem chipsets, including those manufactured by Intel, a competitor of Qualcomm, to render such chipsets useable in Apple devices with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm's Apple-based business to Intel." Qualcomm claims to have evidence to back up this claim thanks to software clues it has found in Intel's modems. Qualcomm is seeking to add this complaint to its existing lawsuit so that it doesn't need to file a separate case. Apple has not responded publicly to the new allegations.
Sprint plans to support the eSIM found in the Apple iPhone Xs and Xs Max, reports PCMag. Earlier this week, Apple published a list of carriers that will support the eSIM and Sprint's name was conspicuously absent. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon were represented by Apple on stage. According to PCMag, Sprint's absence from the list was merely a matter of timing. The company will support the eSIM when it goes live later this year. The eSIM in the iPhone Xs and Xs Max will give owners the flexibility to switch carriers using software rather than a physical SIM card. The eSIM serves as a way for iPhones to add service from a second carrier when used in partnership with the physical SIM. Dual-SIM phones are common in some Asian markets, but have yet to fully penetrate western markets. This is the first time Apple has offered a dual-SIM device to U.S. consumers. Some MVNO carriers hope to use Apple's eSIM as well, says PCMag. TruPhone and GigSky, for example, are already on the list, while smaller providers Ting and Wing are working on it. Apple says the eSIM will not function immediately; it will be enabled by a software update to the iPhone Xs and Xs Max later this year.
Apple today announced the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. These devices are upgrades to last year's iPhone X and feature the same design. The new iPhones have an all-screen look with a notch at the top of the display. The front and back surfaces are made of glass and a stainless steel frame is in between. The Xs maintains the same 5.8-inch size as last year's phone, while the Xs Max pushes the screen size to 6.5 inches. Apple says it uses new glass that is the most durable ever on a mobile device. The OLED displays support Dolby Vision and HDR10, with a 60% greater dynamic range. The screens have True Tone for accurate whites, as well as 3D touch and 120Hz touch response. The iPhone Xs and Xs Max will be sold in gold, silver, and space gray. The phones are rated IP68 for protection against water, dust, and other liquids. Apple has improved the stereo speakers, giving them a wider sound stage. The 10x features an improved Face ID with better sensors and faster performance thanks to quicker algorithms. In order to power the new iPhones, Apple designed the A12 bionic, with a 7nm process, 6-core CPU (2 high-performance, 4 efficiency cores), 4-core GPU (50% faster), and an 8-core neural engine with dedicated machine learning. Apple says the device can process far more real-time information for the camera, Animoji, selfie scenes, and more. The A12 Bionic helps Apple bring new tools to the iPhone's camera. The Xs has a two-camera system, each with a 12-megapixel sensor. The main lens features a wide-angle field of view at f/1.8 while the secondary lens features a telephoto view at f/2.2. The cameras have optical image stabilization. The A12 Bionic can perform 1 trillion calculations on the photos to improve them. The selfie camera has a 7-megapixel sensor and uses the IR sensor to deliver depth information for portraits. The new Smart HDR feature relies on the A12's neural engine to enhance color and improve exposure. The improved portrait shooting allows people to adjust the background blur with a new depth-of-field slider in the editing tool. The iPhone can now record stereo sound with video. Apple says the battery should deliver 30 more minutes of uptime when compared to the iPhone X, and the Xs Max delivers 90 more minutes. The new iPhones introduce gigabit LTE, dual SIM card support (with dual SIM, dual standby provided by eSIM), wide support for worldwide LTE bands. Apple says AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon will support this dual SIM technology, which includes one physical SIM and one eSIM, this year. The iPhone Xs will start at $999 and the Xs Max will start at $1099. Both will be available in 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB options. Preorders for the new iPhones start September 14, with in-store availability on September 21.