Apple iPhone Forum
9to5 Mac reports that Facebook has today unveiled yet another new feature for its iOS app that is very similar to an existing service on another platform, in this case, GoFundMe. This follows on from yesterday’s launch of a Snapchat-style Stories feature.
The new feature is referred to as “personal fundraisers” by Snapchat, which it says “allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook, for example a pet.”
The new feature will launch soon in the US for anyone over the age of 18, and will be in beta for the next few weeks so that Facebook can make sure that it is working correctly before giving it a full launch.
Facebook says that it will have “six specific categories for critical financial needs and include a 24-hour fundraiser review process. As we learn more, we hope to expand our categories and automate more of the review process.”
The initial six categories for critical financial needs are: Education, Medical, Pet Medical, Crisis Relief, Personal Emergency, and Funeral and Loss.
A user’s Friends will be able to donate to one of the categories without ever exiting Facebook. Facebook says that being able to see someone’s profile will help to assure the donor that the cause they are giving to is legitimate.
“Since you can see real profiles on Facebook, donors will see how they are connected to the person who created the fundraiser, the person benefitting and others who are supporting the fundraiser,” explained the company.
Sources: Facebook’s copycat spree continues with GoFundMe-style personal fundraising feature
More Ways to Support Causes | Facebook Newsroom
Samsung has today launched its new flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones at dual events in Lincoln Center in New York and Olympic Park in London. The potential rival for Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 8 needs to be a huge success for Samsung in the wake of the exploding Note7 recall debacle last year. Also, it’s interesting to study some of the phone’s new features, as they give us an inkling as to what we might expect from the iPhone 8 later in the year.
MacRumors reports that the phones come in 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch versions and have curved edge-to-edge QHD AMOLED displays with a 2960x1440 resolution and minimal bezel, meaning that the home button and fingerprint sensor is now on the back of the phone, just as has been rumoured elsewhere today for the new iPhone 8.
The back camera has a 12 megapixel f/1.7 lens, and the front-facing camera has an 8 megapixel f/1.7 camera with autofocus, as well as integrated iris scanning and facial recognition for the purposes of unlocking the phone and various other authentication uses. Both of these features have been rumoured for the forthcoming flagship OLED iPhone 8.
Other Galaxy S8 features unveiled today include Samsung’s new virtual assistant, Bixby, which was developed by the original team behind Apple’s Siri.
The Galaxy S8 runs Android 7.0, and has a Snapdragon 835 processor, a 10 nanometer chip made by Qualcomm and Samsung, 4GM of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage options plus microSD support for up to 256GB. Both models feature fast wireless charging, which is another feature expected to be included in Apple's 2017 iPhone line-up.
So, now we know all there is to know about the iPhone’s major competition this year, but we’ve got a few more months to wait yet until Apple unveils the challenger to Samsung’s contender.
Source: Samsung Unveils Galaxy S8 and S8+ With Iris and Facial Recognition, No Home Button
9to5 Mac reports today on what it calls a “sketchy” rumour from is a source within Foxconn, via iDropNews. According to the source, the forthcoming iPhone 8 will actually be called iPhone Edition, and the Touch ID sensor will be moved to the back of the phone in order to incorporate the new edge-to-edge display.
The source says that with the new bezel-less frame, there is simply no room for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is currently incorporated in the Home button.
As 9to5 Mac notes, having the Touch ID sensor on the back of the phone is very common in modern Android phones.
iDropNews also says that the Home button will become a virtual element on the iPhone 8’s OLED screen, and it’s possible that the technology will not be available in time to also incorporate Touch ID sensors into the virtual button, hence moving it to the back.
iDropNews further reveals that according to its source, following disappointing results in testing, Apple has abandoned the idea of a glass-backed phone, and the casing will now be metal. Apparently the glass was smashing too much in testing.
It’s hard to say how accurate this story is; as 9to5 Mac says, the source does not have any track record when it comes to Apple scoops. However, that doesn't preclude it from being a credible story, and it’s certainly not the first source to put forward the “iPhone Edition” name.
Source: Sketchy report suggests iPhone 8 will be named ‘iPhone Edition’, Touch ID moved to rear, vertical dual cameras
AppleInsider reports that Facebook has today begun rolling out a new feature for its iOS app, the Snapchat-like Stories, as well as a new in-app camera for iPhone.
The new Stories feature is basically a Facebook iOS app version of the same feature that Facebook has already introduced in its Messenger and Instagram apps, and which is itself very similar to Snapchat, which created the original Stories feature. You can now use the new feature in Facebook to add photos and videos to your Story, which will then be shown in the menu at the top of a person’s News Feed. Simply tap on the Story to view it. Just as with Snapchat, the Facebook app Stories will disappear after 24 hours. Another feature, Direct, lets you send photos and videos to your friends that they can only see twice within 24 hours.
As well as the launch of Stories, the Facebook app also now has other Snapchat-style features such as being able to place masks, frames, and filters onto the pictures. You can also add “Reactive” effects such as snow, for example, which will react to movement. Some masks will be sponsored, such as the really rather cool “Alien: Covenant” mask. Others were created by the likes of Douglas Coupland. Soon you will even be able to build your own frames and effects.
Source: Facebook rolls out Snapchat-like Stories & in-app camera for Apple's iPhone
MacRumors reports today that according to Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland, Apple’s third-generation Apple Watch could feature cellular connectivity, which has long been rumoured to be coming to the Apple Watch.
In particular, Rolland says that this year’s Apple Watch will have a SIM card and will support LTE, and that Apple intends to promote it at the same time as the AirPods. “Apple will tout interoperability with the company’s AirPods… to make and receive phone calls” said Rolland.
Rolland also said, “We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made. Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life.”
There’s been talk of Apple adding a cellular modem to the Apple Watch ever since it launched, but the thorny issue of battery drain has, until now, proved to be too much of a hindrance.
Source: Analyst Suggests Third-Generation Apple Watch Will Include Cellular Connectivity
MacRumors reports that following seven beta releases since January 24, iOS 10.3 is now available to the general public. Major new features introduced with the update include Find My AirPods and a new Apple File System (APFS).
The update is available as a free over-the-air download, and can also be downloaded from iTunes.
The new Find My AirPods feature has been added to the Find My iPhone feature so that you can find missing AirPods. Find My AirPods works by playing a sound so that you can locate a nearby AirPod, and it will also save an AirPod’s last known location from when it was last connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth. However, it is not able to find an AirPod when the phone isn’t nearby, or to locate the Charging Case.
APFS is a new file system that will be installed when you update your iOS device. It has been optimized for flash/SSD storage and has improved encryption support, as well as enabling the use of snapshots for freezing a file system’s state, which is better for backups, space sharing, and improved space efficiency, hopefully all of which will lead to more platform stability.
However, that said, an AppleInsider report on the newly released iOS 10.3 notes complaints from early adopters of the update of overly long install times, including multiple device reboots. Users have reported installation on an iPad Air 2, for example, taking more than 48 minutes.
AppleInsider notes that this is likely due to the change of file system to APFS. Advising AppleInsider on the matter, an Apple support technician recommended not stopping the upgrade if it appears to be taking too long. To be on the safe side, the best advice, as always, is to be sure to backup before you update.
Sources: Apple Releases iOS 10.3 With Find My AirPods, APFS, App Store Review Tweaks and More,...
MacRumors reports that Apple has started accepting orders for the newly announced 9.7-inch iPad and the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on its US online store, as well as in many other countries and regions worldwide. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones can also be collected from a select number of Apple Stores from today.
It’s estimated that the first online orders of the 9.7-inch iPad will be delivered between March 31 and April 5 in the US. The new iPad will also be available to buy at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores in more than 20 countries from next week.
The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can also now be pre-ordered from Apple’s website from today, with first online orders expected to arrive on Tuesday, March 28 in the US. But before pre-ordering it might be a good idea to check with your local Apple Store first, as you just might just be able to walk away with one rather than having to wait for your pre-order to arrive.
Source: New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order
According to a new research note from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O’Malley, and Jerry Zhang via MacRumors, a September launch date for Apple’s flagship 5.8-inch OLED iPhone is still on the cards, but the twist is that there will only be limited quantities available at launch. The Barclays analysts say that the bulk of the stock for the flagship phone, which they refer to as the iPhone Pro, will only be available later in the fourth quarter.
Source: 'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities
Niantic has announced a new special Pokémon Go event, the Water Festival. During the global festival, which started yesterday and runs until March 29, 2017, Trainers can expect to see more of Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and other Water-type Pokémon and their evolutions.
Also, when you’re out hunting for Pokémon in the wild in areas where Water-type Pokémon are more prevalent, you’ll have a much greater chance of encountering some of the Water-type Pokémon originally found in the Johto region, including the elusive Lapras.
Also as part of the Water Festival you’ll be able to buy a new avatar wardrobe item, the Magikarp Hat.
The new festival follows on from the latest Pokémon Go update released on Tuesday whereby the 7-day “First PokéStop of the Day” streak will now award you with a random Evolution item. This is presumably because of the previously very scarce availability of the Evolution items, which are needed to evolve certain Pokémon such as Scyther.
According to AppleInsider, Marriott is currently putting both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa through their paces at an Aloft hotel in Boston in an effort to decide which one they will use to help guests control their rooms via voice commands.
The original report by Bloomberg says that Marriott could be making the final choice “as early as mid-year.” Once the approved assistant is picked by Marriott, the company will then decide which of the its chains will use the feature.
The Boston hotel is using Echo speakers for Alexa, and a combination of iPhones and iPads to test Siri.
Despite this, you would think that the decision has already been made in favour of Alexa, though, as AppleInsider notes that the JW Marriott in San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa has Alexa installed in 10 of its 1,002 rooms with 100 more to go online next month. Another chain, Wynn, intends to equip all of its 4,748 rooms in its Las Vegas resort with an Echo by the summer.
However, clearly, Marriott is not totally convinced by Alexa, hence the current round of tests of both systems. As AppleInsider notes, while Alexa has the benefit of affordability on its side, Siri has one very big advantage, especially as far as a hotel chain is concerned, in that it supports 21 languages, whereas Alexa only supports English and German.
In future, Marriott is planning to even use virtual assistants to set automatic wake-up temperatures or schedule when to open drapes.
Source: Marriott likely to decide on Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa for hotels later this year
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