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Resource id #60Report: Apple teaming with Intel on upcoming 5G mobile
Apple is leaning heavily toward Intel's flavor of 5G for a future iPhone, a source with knowledge tells Fast Company.
5G is in early development with specifications yet to be established, but Intel did announce its first 5G modem earlier this year. Also, there's likely significant work to be done with wireless networks to get the new standard up and running. It's speculated we may not see an iPhone with 5G until 2019 or 2020, but as we've seen, the roadmap for iPhone features stretches multiple years.
Apple served with warrant for Texas shooter�s iCloud data
The San Antonio Express-News reports that the warrant covers files stored in Kelley's iCloud account, with law enforcement apparently seeking phone call and message information, photos and videos, and other data dating back to January 1st, 2016. Another warrant allows law enforcement to look for this data independently on an iPhone SE found near Kelley's body. (A separate warrant covers data on a second device, which court records identify as an LG feature phone.) The warrants were obtained on November 9th, two days after the FBI complained that encryption had prevented it from accessing the shooter's phone.
I wonder if the device was locked with Touch ID and if law enforcement tried unlocking the iPhone with the shooter's fingerprint? They would have few hours before the screen lock kicked in. It appears too they're asking Apple to help with the LG phone. Apple should be able to provide data housed in the iCloud account. We'll have to see if Apple stands firm on hacking the locked iPhone as it did with the San Bernardino case from 2015.
Apple's HomePod will miss the holidays
Today, the company released a statement that the speaker will be delayed until 2018: "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers. We'll start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018."
At its developer conference in June, Apple announced the HomePod and said it expected to ship the accessory in December. Apple usually doesn't project releases so far in advanced. When that happens, I guess it's about wanting to get something out there as a placeholder. Certainly, Apple wanted a new consumer electronic product out for the holidays, but it won't make that goal.
Apple details Face ID's learning capabilities
In a detailed technical paper, a team at Apple named the Computer Vision Machine Learning Team provide depth on its approach for Face ID. The paper provides insights on how Apple is leveraging machine learning in a manner that is contained on devices and not leveraging cloud computing.
Apple's iCloud Photo Library is a cloud-based solution for photo and video storage. However, due to Apple's strong commitment to user privacy, we couldn't use iCloud servers for computer vision computations. Every photo and video sent to iCloud Photo Library is encrypted on the device before it is sent to cloud storage, and can only be decrypted by devices that are registered with the iCloud account. Therefore, to bring deep learning based computer vision solutions to our customers, we had to address directly the challenges of getting deep learning algorithms running on iPhone.
Ive discusses iPhone X innovations with TIME.
TIME named the iPhone X one of this year's top 25 innovations and has an interview with Apple's Jonathan Ive. The interview offers some insights into Apple design decisions that go into new products.
How does Apple decide when it's time to move on? It's not a decision to get rid of an existing technology as much as it's a willingness to accept that what's familiar isn't always what's best. "I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure," says Ive. "And in the short term, it's the path the feels less risky and it's the path that feels more secure."
The last iPhone dropped the ubiquitous headphone jack, while the iPhone X eliminates the home button.
Google Maps getting makeover
First, we've updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We've also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you're looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it's easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you're in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).
Overtime, the changes will be seen in all Google Maps products. This includes the website, apps, and services using Google Maps. Once deployed, this should bring a consistent user experience.
AppleCare or No AppleCare for iPhone X
9 to 5 Mac has a breakdown of whether AppleCare is worth it when buying an iPhone X.
AppleCare+ and non-AppleCare+ total cost comparisons specifically for iPhone X repairs in the US which covers up to two accidental damage repairs in two years versus zero without. Apple charges $29 for screen repairs in warranty, $99 for non-screen repairs in warranty, $279 for screen repairs out of warranty, and $549 for non-screen repairs out of warranty.
Essentially, if you break your screen, the difference between buying Apple Care and not buying AppleCare is $51. I made this point a few weeks ago when Apple posted new costs for iPhone X repairs and AppleCare coverage. I only bought AppleCare once for an iPhone when it was $99. Passing on AppleCare has worked out well for me and I don't plan on changing.
Report: Amazon gives up on TV bundles
Amazon.com Inc has scrapped plans to launch an online streaming service bundling popular U.S. broadcast and cable networks because it believes it cannot make enough money on such a service, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Amazon could be shifting strategy, but more likely the news demonstrates the entrenchment of cable content and cable companies. Bundling drives big profits through forcing customers to pay for content and also cross-promotional value across properties.
Given it's the golden age of TV content, it probably makes the most sense to focus on original programming rather than trying to break into the distribution business.
A bunch of thoughts on the iPhone X
Technically this is my 11th iPhone, although I didn't get each device. I skipped the iPhone 3G (no 3G service at the time) and bought both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Ten years after the original, it stands to reason the iPhone X is a big deal, and it is even just for the fact it's the first major revision since the iPhone 5s. Here from me are some highlights.
I'm not sure if the home button removal or Face ID is the biggest change yet, so I'll just start with the home button. I had over ten years of muscle memory with the home button, but it took less than a week to move on. The new home gesture has become mostly natural, although I still sometimes hesitate when jumping back to the home screen.
Related to the home button, I'm still not used to switching apps. I could quickly jump between apps with the double-click of the home button, but I'm struggling with the new gesture. There seem to be a couple of subtly different ways of doing this, and swiping from the bottom up to the right as sort of upside down L seems to work best for me. Still, I sometimes misfire and head back to the home screen, sometimes I overdo it, and it just hangs there waiting for me.
Much of the home button functionality has been relocated to the power button. Double click now prompts Apple Pay. I use triple click for the magnifier thingy in Accessibility. Hold it down bring up Siri. Power + volume down is shut-down and emergency. Lastly, power button and upper volume is the new screenshot. I could be missing something, but that's a bunch of new stuff to learn and new things to do accidentally. My camera roll seems to be well stocked with inadvertent screenshots.
Back to Face ID, this is pretty slick. It's nearly transparent authentication. The second generation Touch ID was very quick but still required me to do something. Face ID just needs me to look at the screen. It seems to work well in the dark, whether I'm wearing glasses or not, sunglasses or not, hat or not. It certainly works best when looking straight on to the screen. It doesn't work so well when the device is laying flat on a table and trying to peek at something. Similarly, it can be hit and miss when laying down in bed. One big advantage over Touch ID is I can still quickly unlock even though my fingers might be wet or dirty from cooking or projects. Also, no more problems with wet or dirty Touch ID sensors. On the flip side, Face ID a no-go when wearing a dust mask.
The rear camera is usually my big draw for iPhone upgrades. My Photos app show hundreds of photos with each iPhone over the years and it's remarkable how quality has improved. When capturing memories, I always want to get the best quality that can fit in my pocket. I like the new 4K video at 60 fps. Everything seems to respond quickly, which is great since kids tend not to hold still. Everything is fulltime auto HDR and I've jumped on the Live Photos bandwagon now that iOS 11 lets me edit key photos. I don't care for the new portrait modes. Maybe they will get better.
The new OLED edge display is nice. Screen to the edges doesn't change my life, but it is a nice display, and everything looks great. I didn't have any complaints with the iPhone 7 Plus, so this isn't solving a problem or changing much for me. I'm not noticing much with higher resolution, but image quality seems a little better with dark colors in particular.
However... the screen design decisions have made some changes.
The notch at the top. I don't care. On the plus side, the mobile carrier is gone. Minus, apparently so is battery percentage. I'm kind of bummed about that one, but otherwise, it doesn't bother me or negatively affect me.
I don't like how Control Center now works. Upper right corner is inconvenient. I don't have a suggestion, but I don't like the change. I'll likely use it much less. Thankfully, flashlight and camera are my two biggest functions and they're right on the lock screen. If Apple put the calculator there, I could probably be good.
Animojies are fun. My kids love them, although apparently, you can't stick out your tongue. Maybe the next iPhone... The most popular at home are the chicken followed by poo, of course.
The keyboard is a little different. In portrait view, Apple moved the keyboards and Siri buttons to a new bottom row. I think this works well for thumb typing since there's no bottom dead space anymore. Landscape mode though can be a mess. It seems like the keyboard takes up 2/3 of the screen and some websites force a banner in the upper 1/3. If I'm lucky, I might see what I'm typing. I'm not sure if this is specific to iPhone X since I remember limited text input before, but I've noticed it this past week.
About the size... the iPhone X has a larger screen but is smaller and lighter than the iPhone Plus models. It's noticeably smaller and lighter in the pocket. I was a slow adopter of the Plus models, which is why I bought the iPhone 6 and later that year got the iPhone 6 Plus. I'm on board with the larger screen and have adapted or tolerated the tradeoffs. The iPhone X minimized those tradeoffs while still adding some more screen. With that said, I feel weird thinking I'd like to see an even bigger edge display on the same footprint as the iPhone 8.
I considered not getting a case, but I need something to grip. Glass gets slick and, as reported, this is an expensive device to repair. I got the standard leather brown case. I had the same case with the iPhone 7 Plus, and I like it. It's still slim, sort of classy, and I like how that particular leather color ages with use.
Also, a quick note about security. Apple has heavily promoted Face ID, which means people will be poking holes and making fun of it. We saw this with Touch ID. If you're concerned about people spoofing Face ID (or Touch ID), don't use it. It's a convenience feature, but you'll be hard-pressed to beat a good password that only you know. Lastly, all this is relative because if someone really wants to get into your device, they'll probably figure out a way.
Mask used to unlock Face ID
the mask is crafted through a combination of 3D printing, makeup, and 2D images. There's also some "special processing done on the cheeks and around the face" where there are large areas of skin, and the nose is created from silicone. The demo video shows the iPhone being unlocked using the mask, and then again using the researcher's face, in just one go.
This is just a proof of concept to demonstrate that Face ID can be spoofed. The researches suggested this should be a concern, but I don't think it's a big deal. Days after Touch ID came out, people were coming up with elaborate ways to transfer finger prints or unlock while sleeping.
While Apple touts Face ID and Touch ID as security features, the real security advancement is how they enable users to quickly access their devices many times a day. Anyone with special concerns about the data on their devices should consider using a complex unlock codes.
1Password 7 brings Face ID Support
The latest version of 1Password for iOS adds support for the iPhone X Face ID feature. The feature authenticates users using the face-scanning ability rather than a password or Touch ID.
For me, it was transformative when 1Password brought support for Touch ID. No longer did I need to repeatedly enter my super password, which made it more likely to use 1Password and also have a better password. Face ID for me is an evolution on that. It works basically the same way as Touch ID, but now it's nearly transparent. Rather than having to move my thumb to scan I just pause for a moment to allow Face ID to do its thing. Then my 1Password vault is unlocked.
It's pretty slick.
Another major new feature is Quick Copy. Now, when swapping to 1Password to copy a username, when you swap back to 1Password it will automatically grab your password and, if using one, a one-time password. When switching back to the app, the password(s) are then pasted in.
SquareTrade called iPhone X most breakable iPhone
Something to consider here is that SquareTrade sells device insurance, so it's in their interest to sound an alarm.
With that said, the company's evaluation gave the iPhone X a high-risk breakability score. The video shows dropping the phone from 6 feet on concrete. Granted, most drops are likely to be waist high, rather than above your head, but it does show how the iPhone can be damaged. Both screen glass, back glass, and OLED functions appear affected. The company also noted that the iPhone X is expensive more expensive to fix due to its components and assembly.
As I used a pre-release iPhone X this week, it suddenly occurred to me that it might be fun to lip-sync a song to an Animoji and have it mimic my performance. I dubbed the idea "Animoji Karaoke" and have been filling my Twitter feed with it. Judging from my likes, retweets, and comments, I haven't just been entertaining myself; some people said that it redeemed Animoji or justifed buying a thousand-dollar phone.
The talking poop emoji seems destined to represent the iPhone X. This is fun though blending of tech and stupid. My kids predictably love animojis
iPhone X inventory now showing availability
Simply visit the iPhone X purchase page for your country from the list below, select a carrier if required, choose a color, and then click on "Pickup: Check Availability" below your desired storage capacity.
While local iPhone X pick up availability was shown, it appears only until lately it actually reflects local inventory. For me, it simply said no availability in my 12 closest stores.
iPhone X LED compares well to Note 8, Pixel 2 XL
Tom's Hardware has a head-to-head comparison of the iPhone X LED and displays in the recently released competition Note 8 from Samsung and Pixel 2 XL from Google.
It took Apple an awfully long time to jump on the OLED bandwagon, but as usual, the company knocked it out of the park when it finally made the move. But is it better than the competition? The answer to that question will depend on what you like to see.
iPhone X shipping times appear to be improving
Preorders for Apple's latest smartphone sold out quickly, with orders rapidly slipping into weeks after the November 3rd launch date. But Apple seems to be shipping devices out of the blue, with phones that were originally expected to arrive at the end of November now showing delivery dates as early as November 6th.
Some overseas estimates on new orders also appear to be shortening.
I thought it was curious that the pre-orders quickly got pushed back to 5-6 about an hour or so after pre-order launched, but had not changed since. That seems to indicate that Apple doesn't have a strong handle on supply past the initial wave and it doesn't want to overpromise. It seems all the rumors of supply problems may have been overblown.
How Apple built the iPhone X
Mashable has a nice interview with Apple VPs Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and Dan Riccio on the development of the iPhone X. There are a lot of interesting bits of information on the design decisions including Touch ID, the home button, the top notch, and other user interface changes.
It's also interesting to have insights on the development cycle of the iPhone and various components.
Depending on who you ask, work on the iPhone X (pronounced "10") either started almost three years ago or way back in 2007.
In the article Riccio was quoted as saying the iPhone X's features were locked in as early as last November.
iOS 11.1 brings back 3D Touch switching, adds new emojis
iOS 11.1 is now available with a bunch of fixes and new features for the month-old iOS release. Added are 70 new emoji characters. The update also sees the return of a gesture that was popular among some. The update adds back support for 3D touch app switcher, which allows switching apps using force touch.
Identical twins and Face ID
In a video, Mashable tests Face ID on the iPhone X with two sets of identical twins. As expected, Face ID unlocks for both siblings.
Both Face ID and Touch ID aren't strong security features. The main security advantage is as a substitute for simple passwords and PINs. Automating authentication makes it more convenient to have strong passwords because it's not a chore having to continuously enter these codes, for example. If you're really concerned about someone spoofing Face ID or Touch ID, it would be best to use a complex passcode on the iPhone.
Apple updates service fees for iPhone X
The costs to repair an iPhone keeps inching up, but this year the iPhone X will take a jump. The iPhone X will cost $279 to replace the screen compared to $169 for iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 8 Plus. "Other damage" could run you $549, compared to $399 for the 8 Plus and $329 for the 6s Plus and 7 Plus.
Apple Care too is more expensive for the iPhone X at $199. Across the board, a screen repair still costs $29.
I don't do Apple Care because the math just doesn't work out. If I were to break the glass, $279 is a steep price, but with Apple Care, it would still cost me $230. So, I'd only save myself $50 and basically brake the screen twice per phone to really be worth it. Given I've only broken two iPhone screens over the last 10 years (the original and 6s Plus), it doesn't make much sense to me.
I'm hopeful that each generation of iPhone becomes more durable. With better Gorilla Glass and improved dust/water resistance, I'm like to think each new iPhone is less susceptible to damage.
Best Buy charging $100 premium for the iPhone X
Those pre-ordering an iPhone X outright from Best Buy were charged an extra $100. Pricing for the new flagship iPhone was $1,099 and $1,249 for the 64 GB and 256 GB models. Pre-orders using an installment plan added up to standard retail pricing.
Last year, Best Buy charged extra for the iPhone 7, although only $50 more than suggested retail price. So it's not completely new and I've seen mobile stores try to either charge extra or force bundling of accessories/services to get a new iPhone.
In a statement to Bloomberg:
"Our prices reflect the fact that no matter a customer's desired plan or carrier, or whether a customer is on a business or personal plan, they are able to get a phone the way they want at Best Buy," Danielle Schumann, a company spokeswoman, said in an email. "Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost."
Best I can tell is this "flexibility" allows customers to buy an iPhone X without a carrier account. This would make it easier to send overseas or flip on eBay.
Apple refutes Face ID claim of scaled back specs
Apple responded to the recent Bloomberg report that Apple reduced accuracy of the iPhone X Face ID to improve production. In a statement to Ars Technica, Apple said the claim as reported was false.
Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can't wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that's incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven't changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.
iPhone X available in stores for launch
Apple reminded us that the iPhone X is going on sale at Friday 12:01 AM Pacific Time (your mileage may vary). The release also stated that the iPhone will be available in stores for purchase.
Phone X will be available in more than 55 countries and territories, and in Apple Stores beginning Friday, November 3 at 8:00 a.m. local time. Stores will have iPhone X available for walk-in customers, who are encouraged to arrive early.
With such reportedly constrained supplies, I don't get why they're selling devices in stores. It would seem better for everyone if it was only pre-ordered online to avoid making people wait in lines for no reason.
Also, I'm wondering why, again with such expected supply issues, Apple is doing a big launch in 55 countries.
Perhaps supplies will be better than widely reported. Or perhaps a lot of customers will be disappointed and frustrated.
Report: Apple cuts corners with Face ID to improve production times
Under pressure to complete as many iPhone X sales as possible for the holidays, Apple reportedly reduced the testing cut off for its Face ID components. The issue surrounds performance of the component projecting infrared dots on faces which is then read by a second sensor component. Last month it was reported that yields of this dot projecting component were hampering production because it was failing to meet testing requirements.
To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, according to a different person with knowledge of the process. As a result, it took less time to test completed modules, one of the major sticking points, the person said.
I'm mostly interested in the ability of Face ID to reliably unlock my device with acceptable performance. I'm not so concerned about someone spoofing my face. Frankly, if someone was that determined enough to create a mask that looks like me or whatever, I've got more pressing problems. So, my question is whether this lowering of capabilities will affect the ability for Face ID to function as seamlessly as the current Touch ID.
Apple videos highlight new portrait photo features
The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X support new dynamic portrait features. Based on the existing portrait mode, the new feature utilizes improved horsepower of the new iPhones to bring advanced lighting capabilities.
Two videos are posted showing how to shoot a photo using the feature and how to edit photos after the fact.