Apple iPhone Forum

by Maura at Feb 2, 2017
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Apple beats Samsung to world's top smartphone vendor slot in Q4 2016.JPG

According to new figures from independent research company Strategy Analytics, via MacRumors, Apple has just overtaken Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2016, with total shipments reaching 439 million units.

Strategy Analytics says that global smartphone shipments grew by 3% annually, reaching a record 1.5 billion units in 2016. In the fourth quarter Apple shipped 78.3 million units, which was 800,000 more than Samsung, and which enabled it to reclaim the top spot worldwide with 18% of global smartphone market share. This represented a steady rise of 5% annually from 74.8 million units in the same quarter in 2015. With these figures, Apple achieved its best results for more than a year, doubtless thanks to Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 debacle, as well as the popularity of the iPhone 7, and, especially, the iPhone 7 Plus. Even so, the margin was very small between the two rivals, with Apple having a 17.8% share and Samsung a 17.7% share. And Samsung was still number 1 in annualized figures with 309 million units shipped worldwide in 2016 compared with Apple’s 215 million units.

Sources: Apple Overtakes Samsung As World's Top Smartphone Vendor in Q4 2016
by Maura at Jan 30, 2017
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One Night on iPhone 7.JPG

Apple has unveiled the latest instalment in its “Shot on iPhone” campaign, entitled “One Night on iPhone 7.” According to AppleInsider, as part of the campaign, Apple commissioned a group of photographers to photograph snippets of life from dusk until dawn using just the iPhone 7’s low-light camera. The results will be appearing in 25 countries around the world from today.

Examples of the many amazing photographs include artists in Johannesburg, South Africa, shot by Elsa Bleda; Shanghai pictured from rooftops by Jennifer Bin; and 130 active volcanoes in Java, Indonesia that were photographed by an iPhone 7 fixed to a drone. Equally, if not even more, intrepid were Ruairidh McGlynn’s photographs of the Arctic, with the photographer travelling to the location by night on a dog sled.

AppleInsider doesn’t yet have details of where we can expect to see the campaign, but previous “Shot on iPhone” projects have appeared on TV, billboards, and via the web.

Source: Apple 'Shot on iPhone' ad campaign continues with 'One Night on iPhone 7'
by Maura at Jan 30, 2017
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Siri wants to be part of your super bowl experience.JPG

MacRumors reports that Apple has announced that Siri can be a big part of your Super Bowl Sunday experience if you want her to. First off there’s Live Tune-In support, where Apple TV users can ask Siri to play Super Bowl live by asking “Watch the Super Bowl.” This is the first time that Live Tune-In, which was launched last year, has been used for such a major sporting event.

Apple’s also been talking up other ways that Siri can be used on the big day, including asking her about team and player stats, half-time show details and even getting her to remind you to buy your snacks, as if you needed reminding of that!

Apple even suggests things that you can ask Siri, including “What is the Patriots record?” or “Who has more rushing yards this season, Tom Brady or Matt Ryan?”

This year’s Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 5 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time, and sees the New England Patriots facing the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Source: Apple Highlights Ways Siri Can Get Involved in Super Bowl Sunday
by Maura at Jan 26, 2017
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Twitter revamps Explore tab.JPG

Following a lengthy testing process that began last October, Twitter has today announced the official launch of its revamped “Explore” tab on the iOS version of its app. The new tab is designed to provide one-stop access to trends, search, Moments, and live video.

MacRumors writes that Twitter found that the new system worked very well in testing, with users saying that it made finding news, what’s trending, and popular topics much easier.

And don’t panic if you like your Twitter exactly how it was, as Twitter says that “nothing is going away,” it’s just that certain features have been moved to become part of the Explore tab.

When you tap Explore, you’ll see breaking news with a live video header and trending topics underneath, and then more news stories underneath a “Today’s Moments” section.

Meanwhile, Twitter users are still awaiting the introduction of the much-requested ability to edit Tweets, which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently said is “definitely needed.”

Source: Twitter Officially Launches Enhanced 'Explore' Tab on iOS to All Users
by Maura at Jan 26, 2017
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British military using iPhone 7 instead of Samsung Galaxy.JPG

AppleInsider reports that according to TechRepublic, the UK Military of Defence (MoD) has chosen to use the iPhone 7 for secret communications, rather than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 handsets that were initially used by the program.

“As more and more development and testing was done, the security wasn’t deemed to be sufficient,” said Steve Bunn, BT technical business manager for defense, about the Galaxy Note 4. Bunn told TechRepublic that the MoD will be using a modified iPhone 7 that can switch between different operational and security modes, depending on how sensitive the call is.

“We’ve been working very closely with [the MoD] to develop what we’ve commonly called a “dual-persona device,” said Bunn. “Essentially [it] means you can have voice at official and at secret.”

The military-use iPhone 7 units will also be adapted to make them suitable for retaining data of a sensitive nature, which would enable secrets to be stored and used later, when in the middle of a mission, for example. It could also be used to transport data.

BT business development director Derek Stretch also told TechRepublic that another reason for the MoD secret communications program switching to the iPhone 7 was because it is already much more widely used in other departments in the MoD.

Source: Insufficient Samsung security forces UK military communications project to switch to modified iPhone 7
by Maura at Jan 25, 2017
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Apple Pay transactions grow by 50 percent.JPG

AppleInsider reports that according to new data from consumer spending analytics company TXN, Apple Pay transactions grew by 50% in December 2016 compared with the same month a year ago. TXN’s graph shows a steady rise during the year, aside from a small dip in the middle of the year.

TXN’s figures actually differ considerably from the official figures released by Apple during Tim Cook’s Q4 conference call last October when he said that Apple Pay transaction volumes had increased by nearly 500% year over year, and that September 2016 had been busier than any time during 2015.

However, the discrepancy between the two sets of figures is most likely due to the way in which TXN collects its data, using a “panel of transactions from over 3 million payment cards,” and not being able to determine as to whether or not “some of the card issuing banks” were used for Apple Pay transactions or not.

Source: Analysts see 'strong growth' of Apple Pay annually, more room to grow
by Maura at Jan 25, 2017
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Apple set to start manufacturing iPhones in India.JPG

9to5 Mac reports that a government official in India has said that a deal with Apple to manufacture iPhones in the country in exchange for being allowed to open Apple retail stores there is “almost a done deal.” It was recently reported that Wistron, rather than Foxconn, would be Apple’s manufacturing partner in India.

The comments, which were originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, come after a meeting between Apple executives, including VP Priya Balasubramaniam and top Indian government officials.

Talks between Apple and the Indian government have been ongoing for quite some time now, with many complications due to disputes between different ministries in India. Apple has requested various incentives to start making iPhones in India, including no import tariffs for 15 years.

It now looks as if Apple could very soon be making phones in India, with one Indian finance official saying “Many of the incentives sought by Apple are workable,” and another saying that the Indian government wants to “settle with Apple.”

Source: iPhone manufacturing in India ‘almost a done deal’ says official after meeting with Apple
by Maura at Jan 25, 2017
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Japan display to make flexible LCD displays for Apple.JPG

According to the Wall Street Journal, via 9to5 Mac, Apple is considering contracting Japan Display to make next-gen flexible LCD panels for future iPhones.

Japan Display’s new technology apparently uses LCD and plastic rather than the usual LCD and glass, which then enables the display to flex and bend.

However, it could be some time before we see Apple using this technology in its iPhones, as Japan Display has said that it will not be mass produced until 2018. Also, having a flexible display panel is simply the first step in making a bendable iPhone,of course, with the internal components such as the battery also having to be flexible as well as the display, so we could be waiting a while yet. There have been several recent rumours that Samsung is about to debut a bendable smartphone later in the year, but it’s not expected to bend very much. Is having a bendable iPhone really a priority anyway?

Source: Apple considering flexible LCD Japan Display tech for ‘possible future’ iPhones
by Maura at Jan 24, 2017
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First iOS 10.3 beta reveals Find My AirPods feature.JPG

MacRumors reports that Apple has today seeded the first iOS 10.3 beta to developers. We’ll learn more about the various features included in the update when developers start reporting them, but it looks like the biggest feature is the new “Find My AirPods” mode, which is pretty self-explanatory!

The new feature works by letting you add your AirPods to the “Find My iPhone” app along with your other Apple products. Should you then lose your AirPods, you can tap on them in the Find My iPhone app to make them play a chirping tone, which will get increasingly louder until you can locate it.

Once activated, you can choose whether to play the alarm through the left or right AirPod, or both. You’ll also be able to view the AirPods’ location on your iPhone screen, using the iPhone’s GPS to track the AirPods to the last known place that they were connected.

Sources: Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 10.3 With 'Find My AirPods' to Developers

iOS 10.3 Beta Includes New 'Find My AirPods' Mode for Locating Lost AirPods
by Maura at Jan 24, 2017
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Pokemon Duel out now.JPG

The Pokémon Company sprung a nice surprise on Pokémon fans today by releasing a new Pokémon game, Pokémon Duel, in the App Store.

The free-to-play game is a mobile strategy game where Pokémon battle against each other in order to reach a goal in their opponent’s territory. Here are the key gameplay features:
You can play against real-world opponents by tapping League Match on the Home screen. You will then be automatically matched, based on skill, with other players around the world. League victories unlock Time Boosters, which will earn you a variety of items, including Pokémon figures. The more League matches that you win, the more your player rating will increase, and, thus, the more chance you have of earning different Pokémon figures in higher-level leagues.

The game is monetized via the in-app Shop, where you can buy more plates and Boosters. Materials collected from Boosters that you buy can be traded for particular Pokémon that you want. In-game currency called Gems can also be purchased at the Shop or earned by various means, such as by playing the game daily and clearing missions. However, The Pokémon Company makes a point of mentioning on the game’s load screen that Pokémon Duel...