Apple iPhone Forum

by Maura at Aug 3, 2017
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More The Rock and Siri videos released.JPG

Apple has today released several smaller videos featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Siri, following on from last month’s Top-3-trending YouTube mini movie, writes 9to5 Mac.

Two of the new videos show certain sections of the main video designed to highlight particular Siri commands, such as asking Siri to take a selfie, or asking Siri to set a timer in the kitchen. The third video, “Reminder,” is new footage, saying “The Rock has only one thing on his mind—it starts with a ‘D’ and rhymes with ‘ominate.’ Good thing he has Siri by his side.”

“I partnered with #Apple to make the BIGGEST, COOLEST, CRAZIEST, DOPEST, MOST OVER THE TOP, FUNNEST (is that even a word?) movie ever,” said The Rock prior to the main video release last month.

The original video was already a huge success, and it’s likely that these smaller spots are designed for release on social media networks and possibly also on television.

Source: Apple shares more iPhone 7 ads from its partnership w/ Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Apple Shares Three Short 'The Rock x Siri' Ads
by Maura at Aug 3, 2017
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How Apple Helped to Create the First Made for iPhone Cochlear Implant.JPG

MacRumors reports on an in-depth story from Wired that explains exactly how Apple and hearing aid company Cochlear teamed up to create the first Made for iPhone Cochlear implant, which is able to stream audio from an iPhone or iPad to a surgically embedded sound processor.

As Bluetooth LE is only able to send low-bandwidth data, such as heart-rate monitor readings, for example, Apple’s accessibility team actually went as far as to create an advanced version of the current Bluetooth Low Energy profile, Bluetooth Low Energy Audio (BLEA), in order to stream high-quality audio to a hearing device without draining their zinc batteries.

Apple has been researching BLEA for several years, with patents dating back to 2014, but has only now spoken about using it in a consumer product.
Sources: Apple Used Bluetooth Low Energy Audio for Cochlear Implant iPhone Accessory

How Apple Is Putting Voices in Users’ Heads—Literally | Backchannel
by Maura at Aug 3, 2017
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How the HomePod firmware leaked.JPG

Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball has a great piece today about how all of Apple’s careful secrecy about its forthcoming products, and in particular the next iPhone, was blown out of the water by the accidental release of the HomePod OS beta.

Sources: Botched Release of Beta HomePod OS Reveals Details of New 2017 iPhones and HomePod
by Maura at Aug 3, 2017
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iPhone 8 to use smartcam tech.JPG

The HomePod firmware continues to give up the goodies in terms of secrets about the forthcoming iPhone 8. 9to5 Mac reports that Guilherme Rambo has discovered evidence that the phone will support a new SmartCam scene-selection feature, with the code showing that the new camera app may use SmartCam to capture the best photos for specific scenarios such as Baby, Bright Stage, Document, Fireworks, Foliage, and more.

Other code found in the HomePod firmware reiterates recent rumours that Apple has replaced Touch ID on the iPhone 8 with facial recognition as a means of authenticating Apple Pay. This has been the most contentious issue when it comes to iPhone 8 rumours over the past few months, with many conflicting reports, including the most recent ones that suggested that Apple had found a way to embed the Touch ID sensor in the OLED display. However, it does indeed now seem that Apple has gone for the possibly more adventurous option of using facial recognition for all security and payment matters.

This looks like another win for KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said back in early July that the iPhone 8 would use facial recognition technology, as did Bloomberg.

Source: iPhone 8 camera may support ‘SmartCam’ scene selection, Apple Pay Face ID
by Maura at Aug 2, 2017
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You can now send money via Skype iOS app.JPG

Microsoft and Skype announced today that the latest update to the Skype iOS app has a very handy new feature whereby you can use it to send money, thanks to its integration with PayPal.

The new feature is called “Send Money,” and enables you to send money via PayPal during a Skype conversation on the iOS app without ever having to leave the conversation to open up a separate app.

To use the feature, all you have to do is swipe right, tap Send Money, and then go ahead with the money transfer. The first time you do so you will be asked to confirm your location, and then, provided the feature is available in your specific location, link your PayPal account to your Skype profile.

While you must be using the latest version of the Skype app to send money, the recipient can be using any version of Skype.

The Send Money service is currently available in 22 countries worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Sources: https://blogs.skype.com/news/2017/08/02/skype-and-paypal-team-up-with-new-send-money-feature/

You Can Now Send Money with PayPal in the Skype Mobile App
by Maura at Aug 2, 2017
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Apple posts impressive Q3 results.JPG

AppleInsider reports that following yesterday’s impressive third fiscal quarter results, Apple stock soared to a record high of almost $160.

During the earnings call, Apple reported $45.4 billion in revenue on sales of 41 million iPhones, meaning that Apple has now sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones to date.

Macs sold very well, and, interestingly, Apple saw growth in iPad sales for the first time since 2013. Apple’s services business was also found to have earnings on a par with a Fortune 100 company.
The only tiny bit of bad news came from China, where revenue dropped 10% year over year. During the conference call, Tim Cook said that mainland China was in fact flat year over year and up 6% as far as constant currency is concerned.

Finally, Apple’s talk of revenue between $49 billion and $52 billion and gross margin of between 37.5% and 38% for the fourth fiscal quarter, very big numbers indeed, indicates that the company will be launching the iPhone 8 and new iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models in September as scheduled, not later, as has been rumoured.

Sources: Apple stock hits all time high on news of strong Q3 sales,...
by Maura at Aug 1, 2017
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iPhone 8 to have no Touch ID and infrared facial recogniton instead.JPG

The HomePod firmware continues to reveal more juicy details about the forthcoming iPhone 8, with MacRumors reporting today on yet more secrets uncovered in the code by developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

Most importantly, Troughton-Smith has seen no information whatsoever that might point to the iPhone 8 having a Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, and he doesn’t think it will be included in the phone, stating, “not this year.”

However, thankfully, it doesn’t look like the dreaded rear Touch ID sensor will be the solution, rather, as Troughton-Smith pointed out in his examination of the code yesterday, there are many mentions of a facial recognition and infrared face detection system in the HomePod firmware.

Troughton-Smith also revealed details about the new status bar, which may see the information such as on connection strength, battery, Bluetooth and the time shown on either side of the sensor/camera section. Troughton-Smith concluded that the status bar “seems a lot more complex and powerful in design,” and may even be interactive.

Image: Slashleaks

Source: HomePod Firmware Suggests iPhone 8 Split Status Bar, Tap to Wake and No Touch ID Under Display
by Maura at Aug 1, 2017
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Ex Google exec says iPhone far superior for photography.JPG

9to5 Mac reports that in a post on Facebook, ex Google senior vice president of Social, Vic Gundotra, has said that Android phones are years behind the iPhone in terms of photography.

Here’s a snippet from Gundotra’s post where he’s singing the praises of taking photographs with the iPhone 7 camera.
When someone put it to Gundotra that the Samsung S8 camera was better than the iPhone camera, Gundotra was unequivocal in his dismissal of Android as a photography platform.
Source: Former Google SVP says Android phones ‘years’ behind the iPhone in photography
by Maura at Jul 31, 2017
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Russian passes law banning VPNs.JPG

Following on from last week’s news that Apple has removed virtual private network (VPN) apps from the App Store in China, AppleInsider reports today that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law to ban VPNs and other similar technologies in Russia. It’s likely that following the introduction of the law, which takes effect on November 1, Apple will also remove VPNs from the Russian App Store, just as it did with the Chinese App Store.

The Russian government says that the law is designed to block illegal internet content in Russia, but it is also seen by some to be a way of shutting down dissent in Russia.

The law is even stronger than China’s recent one, as China still allows VPNs, but they must be authorized by the government.

It will be interesting to see what action Apple decides to take once the law is enacted in November, as it has faced strong criticism from some quarters for pulling all VPN apps from the App Store in China.

Source: Russia approves VPN ban likely to kick apps out of Apple's App Store
by Maura at Jul 31, 2017
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HomePod firmware reveals facial recogntion capabilities of iPhone 8.JPG

As hard as Apple tries to keep details of the forthcoming iPhone 8 under wraps, there’s always someone resourceful enough to manage to unearth secrets in the strangest places. Over the weekend it was reported that developer Steven Troughton-Smith had found details about the HomePod’s LED matrix display in the code. Now, AppleInsider reports that Troughton-Smith has discovered evidence within the HomePod firmware that shows that the iPhone 8 will, as had been widely rumoured, use infrared technology to recognise a user’s face to securely unlock the phone.

The HomePod firmware references a feature called “Pearl ID,” along with mention of “FaceDetect.” Error messages found in the code include a face being too near or too far away from the camera, timeout conditions, and multiple faces.

The HomePod firmware also reveals a basic image of the iPhone 8, complete with the codename “D22,” which shows the thin bezel, missing Home button, and cutout at the top for the earpiece and camera array.

Image: Steven Troughton-Smith

Source: Apple HomePod firmware reveals 'iPhone 8' bezel-less design, facial recognition