Category - Apple
Editor's Note: Today marks the ninth anniversary of the iPhone's initial sale to the public. On June 29, 2007, the smartphone that effectively changed the mobile phone industry, and arguably computing as a whole, overnight was put on sale in Apple Stores, though with this Best Of MacNN post, we're instead looking at an earlier event, namely when it was first unveiled onstage by Apple chief Steve Jobs during Macworld.
Apple's latest version of its desktop OS has picked up a rebrand, bringing it into alignment with its tvOS, watchOS, and iOS lowercase stablemates. The rebrand also suggests that Apple is going to settle into a pattern of continually evolving its desktop OS iteratively -- OS X is now macOS in perpetuity, with the internal codename now taking top billing. While it naturally picks up several new marquee features, the arrival of Siri on the Mac is by far the biggest news in macOS Sierra. Read on for our initial thoughts.
While in no way legal or binding, The Little Las Vegas Chapel has played host to an unusual ceremony where a man named Aaron Chervenak had a commitment ceremony to "marry" his iPhone. While the groom himself did not comment, chapel owner Michael Kelly, who has overseen similar ceremonies involving pets "getting married" or "weed weddings" where people professed their love for marijuana, said the "iPhone marriage" was intended as a statement on society's dependence on the devices.
Apple has come up with a way to control functions of a smartphone, via infrared light. The recently published patent for "Systems and methods for receiving infrared data with a camera designed to detect images based on visible light" (9,380,225) suggests infrared light received by a sensor could be used to transmit data to the device, forcing functions to work in specific ways, or in some applications, temporarily disabling some elements entirely.
Apple is helping to fund the music videos of artists and bands, as part of its plan to gain exclusives for its streaming music service. Executives from both Apple and elsewhere in the industry advised to a report the iPhone producer has helped finance musical projects, including Drake's Hotline Bling and MIA's Borders videos, to not only get content for its subscribers not available anywhere else, but also to make Apple Music a more attractive place to be, in a similar vein to MTV in the 1990's.
The "Trade Up with Installments" plan from Apple Stores that allows customers to buy new iPhones with built-in yearly upgrade options for set monthly payments saw some minor changes on Tuesday. The new plans offer customers more flexibility in how they use the money they earn from trading in the older smartphone, but lowers the maximum value of a trade-in from $300 to $250. The changes are only for the Trade-Up option, and don't affect the similar iPhone Upgrade Program.
Editor's Note: crazy lawsuit stories are a special favorite among the staff as we reminisce on the stories that stood out as particularly memorable, and we have plenty of them. For every legit-but-ultimately-unsuccessful patent lawsuit or the exceedingly rare occasion where Apple is found guilty of something, there's a dozen "huh?" lawsuits. We are proud of our in-depth analysis and reporting of the Samsung-Apple battles, or the DOJ-Apple court fight, or our coverage of the California hiring-agreement case, where Apple was very clearly in the wrong. Forgive us, though; its hard to summarize those complex cases, and easy to smile at the memories of hopeless schemers and dreamers who tried to work the system and cash in quick on dubious claims.
Florida resident Thomas S. Ross on Monday filed a lawsuit with the Florida Southern District Court alleging that Apple infringes upon his unpatented 1992 submission of an "Electronic Reading Device" that does imagine a device not dissimilar to the Newton, and is seeking $10 billion in damages and a 1.5 percent royalty on all of Apple's iOS devices. The court filing notes that the plaintiff "was the first to file a device so designed and aggregated," but admits that the patent application was declared abandoned in 1995 because Ross never paid the required application fees.
New rules introduced by the Chinese government are going to increase the monitoring of the country's citizens, by forcing mobile app stores to keep track of their users. Apple and other app store owners are ordered by new rules issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China to keep records of user activity for a period of time, as well as establish the identity of both the users and the app developers, in order to crack down on the viewing and distribution of banned content.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE