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OmniGraffle, OmniFocus, and OmniPlan see iOS 11 upgrades
The OmniGroup has updated three of its major apps for iOS to support new functions in iOS 11. Among other things, updates include support for native Siri commands and drag and drop.
OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, and OmniPlan have been fine-tuned and each have big updates that take advantage of the latest release from Apple, all out today.
Evernote adds improved Siri integration with iOS 11
Evernote for iOS has been updated to take advantage of some of the new Siri hooks for applications. Similar to Apple's stock apps, third-party apps can now do similar tasks.
Awaken Siri on your device (either by holding the Home button or, if you've enabled it, saying "Hey Siri") and then give your instructions directly to Evernote. It's that simple! For example, here are a few commands you can try right now, once you've updated your device to iOS 11:
Apple details decision to enhance Safari privacy
Safari in macOS High Sierra offers a new privacy feature that attempts to block cross-site tracking. This type of tracking is valuable to advertisers and marketers to understand consumer behaviors and pitch them for ads and offers.
Apple Statement via The Loop
"Apple believes that people have a right to privacy - Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy," Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop.
Technically web visitors probably often agree to be tracked by sites within the terms of service. So, if you feel this isn't right or simply enjoy having ads follow you around, you can dimple not utilize the feature.
iPhone X could see more severe availability issues
Most iPhone upgrade cycles seem to have some kind of hitch that's anticipating constrained supplies. This year's cycle for the iPhone X could be worse than normal:
Part of the problem is that the iPhone X is densely packed with lots of custom components that aren't easy to manufacture quickly. And Apple probably locked down the feature set of the iPhone X relatively late in the game, compounding the problem.
It seems weird to worry about the holiday sales if products will be back order beyond that. If you don't have a box to give, Apple will probably miss a sale, so we'll have to see about that. Also, the iPhone 8/8 Plus could relieve pressure as people compare specs and prices and settle.
Face ID security masks
Just days after Apple announced the iPhone X that replaced the home button's Touch ID for Face ID, Chinese merchants have launched "protective masks" in response to the news.
These are all just regular masks being marketing for the new iPhone X and Face ID. Cheap marketing ploy for sure, but it wouldn't happen if there wasn't some demand. Crazy times.
Privacy and Face ID
Ars Technica has a nice rundown of security and privacy implications of the new Face ID security feature. Basically, it doesn't really change much from Touch ID. It expected law enforcement can still compel people to unlock a device. Apple, however, says Face ID is harder to trick, so it can be more secure from unauthorized access. As described by Apple, Face ID also requires your attention, which basically seems to mean you must be looking at your device to unlock.
Other than the new hardware, iOS 11 should beef up security across all devices.
it should be noted that Apple has instituted some new privacy features for iOS 11, which rolls out next week. Let's assume you unlock your phone for the authorities, whether they have a warrant or not. If you have TouchID enabled on a non-iPhone X phone, the passcode is now required when the phone is connected to a new computer. "Trust This Computer" pops up on the computer's monitor, requiring the password. That wasn't the case before. This means the authorities would need your passcode again to siphon data from your phone beyond just reading its contents manually.
Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE
The new Apple Watch Series 3 now untethers itself from the iPhone. This brings a bunch of new possibilities, but also an extra monthly charge to your mobile account. It appears for $10 per month, you can leave your iPhone at home and still receive calls and messages.
When on LTE, the watch still shares your iPhone's mobile number, so that makes it's transparent. Also when sharing location, your location data will reflect your position with the Apple Watch. Apple also announced the Apple Music will be supported on mobile, so you can listen to your music using only your Apple Watch.
Apple says the new dual core processor is 70-percent faster and a new W2 chip offers 80-percent improvement on WiFi. I was hoping to have something new with the heart rate sensors. It appears not much has changed there since the Apple Watch was originally introduced in 2015. Not really complaining, but something there would be a bigger incentive to upgrade.
Pricing starts at $329 for the 38mm watch and $359 for the 42mm on SPorts models. If you want the LTE cellular feature, prices bump up to $359 and $429. Other models and bands go up from there.
Apple TV 4k
The new Apple TV 4K basically is more powerful Apple TV supporting 4K and HDR video. It has the A10 Fusion CPU, which is the same as the iPad Pro.
Interestingly, Apple is selling 4K movies for the same price as HD. Also, any HD movies you already purchased will be available to review in 4K. That's pretty cool. Apple is also working with Netflix and Amazon to support their 4K content.
I'm a little split on the new Apple TV. I don't have a 4K TV and very happy with my plasma as it keeps on keeping on. Still, if Apple can be a catalyst for 4K content, it will make 4K much more attractive.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone 8 looks to be a significant refresh of the iPhone 6/6s/7 platform. Retaining the same basic design except for a new glass back, the iPhone 8 adds many core functions of the new flagship iPhone X.
The new glass back allows for wireless charging using Qi industry standard. Apple also previewed its own charging dock that is expected next year. Apple also said the glass is 50-percent stronger than the previous iPhone.
The iPhone 8/8 Plus features the new A11 Bionic processor, which offers 25-percent faster CPU speeds and 30-percent faster GPU over the iPhone 7.
Also new are cameras that offer 83-percent more light sensitivity. The rear camera also now supports 4K video at 60 fps, where the iPhone 7 was limited to 30 fps at 4K.
The augmented reality demos were pretty cool, especially the non-gaming demos. We say constellations overlaid the camera image looking at the sky. Also, a baseball game that overlaid player info over images of them in the field. Games were nifty too, but I think every-day stuff is more compelling. Apple said the new camera and hardware are designed to drive performance for these AR features.
The iPhone 8 goes on sale 9/15 and available beginning 9/22. Pricing is $699 and $849 for the iPhone 8 64GB and 256GB models. The iPhone 8 Plus is $100 more for $799 and $949. This is a slight tweak over last year's new model pricing, giving a little more storage space for the money, but with a higher entry price.
The iPhone X is Apple's new flagship mobile device that creates a new product tier within the iPhone lineup. Starting at $999 for the 64 GB and $1,049 for the 256 GB models, the iPhone X is a super premium smart phone. While it shared many specs of the new iPhone 8, there are some advanced features unique to the iPhone X.
The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge OLED display with a 458 pixels per inch density. Apple calls this new higher density display the Super Retina Display and it is also slightly larger than the iPhone Plus models at 5.8-inches compared to 5.5. Despite the larger display, being edge-to-edge, the phone is slightly smaller and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus.
Dropping the home button, the iPhone X introduces a number of gestures. It also drops TouchID for the new Face ID. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Face ID isn't just image recognition as it utilizes multiple sensors including infrared. Apple says its implementation works whether the user is wearing glasses, hats, and in different lighting conditions. It also works looking at different angles, so it would seem you can unlock the device looking down and looking straight on. Interestingly, Face ID won't unlock unless it has your attention, which seems to mean it requires you to have eyes on the display. Apple also says Face ID is less prone to unauthorized access as it has a 1:1,000,000 false ID rate compared to 1:50,000 for TouchID. It seems this is the first time we've seen this number from Apple. Some other tidbits are Face ID works with Apple Pay, in addition to any apps supporting TouchID. Also, Apple said it adapts to facial hair, which sounds like it learns of face changes over time. Power this whole thing is what Apple is calling its first neural engine utilizing machine learning.
Also demoed was animated emojis. It appears it uses the Face ID tech to drive augmented reality feature of transferring facial expressions to animated characters. This can be used to send texts in Messages. I think my kids will love this.
The Face ID demo didn't quite work right and a backup was used. I'm not sure the reason, but that could be why we need to wait a few extra weeks for the iPhone X. Apple will be taking orders on 10/27 and ship 11/3.
Apple Event Viewing
This iPhone cycle has been probably the most leaky. It will be interesting if there are many big surprises left, but seeing it actually happen is always the best way to find out.
Apple is providing a live stream of the event starting at 10 AM PDT on September 12.
Delays and the iPhone Upgrade Program
Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program is a mechanism to finance a new phone every year. Essentially you have a 24-month payment plan with the option to trade in that device early as a payoff. It's a nice program, but jumping through the necessary hoops can make it difficult to get a new iPhone when they launch.
Apple has made it easier, but there are still challenges when supplies are limited. Unsurprisingly, like pretty much every launch supplies are expected to be limited.
9 to 5 Mac has short overview of options for those looking to upgrade through Apple's program.
If you happen to do your iUP trade-in after 12 months has passed, the good news is that Apple will refund any payments you have made up to 30 days before upgrading. So there is a month buffer built-in, and it's possible that Apple could extend that period for iUP customers if there happens to be a more serious delay with the iPhone 8. (Note, while this doesn't appear in Apple's iUP T&C, we've confirmed this with multiple Apple Store employees).
Details of Apple's new Steve Jobs Theater
Next week, Apple is expected to announce its new lineup of iPhones and most likely other products. The event will be video streamed and hosted at the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's new campus. Bloomberg has some interesting details of the facility.
The entrance to the venue sits underneath a silver disc, whose supporting glass panels make it seem to float 20 feet above the surrounding clearing. The auditorium itself occupies four underground stories, and to get there, journalists will descend a staircase spiraling down alongside the walls.
The theater is to hold 1000 people.
YouTube app adds iOS ReplayKit for live streaming
The main YouTube app now support's iOS 10's ReplayKit function. This allows users to stream their screens and, if supported, camera. Essentially it's like live streaming game play. YouTube Gaming in fact has supported this feature, but now it's available for the main app to stream content other than games.
ReplayKit requires iOS 10.2 or later with an iPhone or iPad.
Red Sox allegedly use Apple Watch to steel opponent signals
The New York Yankees are accusing rival the Boston Red Sox of using an Apple Watch to relaying information on signals between the Yankee pitchers and catcher.
The New York Times
The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox' stealing catchers' signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout. The trainer then relayed a message to other players in the dugout, who, in turn, would signal teammates on the field about the type of pitch that was about to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.
Electronic are prohibited in MLB dugouts. If an iPhone was stashed near by, seem pretty feasible to get text messages in the dugout.
Pixelmator Pro announced
The Pixelmator Team today unveiled Pixelmator Pro, a brand new Mac app that redefines image editing on the Mac, providing professional-grade editing tools in an incredibly intuitive and accessible design. Pixelmator Pro 1.0, codenamed Whirlwind, includes a modern single-window interface, nondestructive, GPU-powered image editing tools, machine learning-enhanced editing features, and more.
The popular independent makers of the graphic/image editor Pixelmator announces a new Pro version of the software. Expected later this fall, the new version bring professional-level graphic editing with Mac-specific capabilities.
Designed exclusively for the Mac, Pixelmator Pro uses the Mac graphics processor in tandem with the latest Mac graphics technologies, such as Metal 2, Core Image, and OpenGL, to deliver blistering fast, GPU-powered image editing. Built with Swift 4, Pixelmator Pro is a next-generation app that takes full advantage of the latest technological innovations in hardware and software.
It sounds exciting. I hope to gives Photoshop a run for its money because I really dislike Adobe's annual subscription model. It's pretty expensive and I'm still using the last non-subscription version of Creative Suite.
London Apple Music Festival ends
Apple confirmed to Music Business Worldwide that it is ending its decade-long sponsorship of the Apple Music Festival in London. Previously known as the iTunes Music Festival, the annual event runs nightly concerts over a month or so.
Music Business Worldwide speculates Apple is transitioning to sponsoring special events.
However, the cancellation of the festival doesn't signal a move away from live events by Apple Music completely.
Leaked document details Apple iPhone service procedures
Business Wire published details based on internal Apple documents for its service protocols. Basically it provides guidance for its service staff in determining how to handle iPhone hardware service requests.
A 22-page document recently leaked on Dropbox shows how Apple instructs its technicians and authorized service partners to inspect iPhones for repair and determine whether they are eligible for an in-warranty repair (inexpensive) or an out-of-warranty repair (more expensive) -- or if it's a problem Apple can't fix (you need a new phone).
Business Insider said there are also similar documents for other Apple products.
The expected changes to the iPhone controls
Bloomberg has a summary of expected changes on the new iPhone controls. What's expected to be the new flagship model will have a number of new features and changes. Biggest is the removal of the decade-old home button.
The new model's overall size will be similar to that of the iPhone 7, but it will include an OLED screen that is slightly larger than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inches), people familiar with the product have told Bloomberg News. The phone will have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen, meaning the area below the screen that used to house the home button and the area above the screen for the earpiece have been removed. The earpiece, facial recognition sensor, and selfie camera are instead present in a cutout, or "notch," at the top of the screen, the images show.
New sensors and cameras are thought to offer a range of new interfaces for augmented reality and facial recognition, in addition to the home button.
Report: Apple negotiating 4K movie prices
While the talks have been ongoing for some time, discussions have been recently hampered by disagreements over the pricing of 4K movie purchases, according to sources close to the talks (via The Wall Street Journal). Apple wants to charge $19.99 for 4K movie purchases in its digital iTunes Store, the same price it currently charges for newly-released HD films.
For entertainment companies, technology is seen as a well for new revenue streams. So, it's not surprising companies want a premium for 4K content. Apple, however, as a long established model of using content as a commodity to sell hardware.
$1000 Flagship iPhone
The New York Times:
Chief among the changes for the new iPhones: refreshed versions, including a premium model priced at around $999, according to people briefed on the product, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
I think the assumption is Apple will still launch updated iPhones at typical pricing. I'm sure they will keep the iPhone 7 around at a discounted price, but I'd hope if Apple is going for a new premium tier that it will offer an iPhone with similar performance, but less bells and whistles.
Anyway, assuming the rumors of a $1000 iPhone is accurate, I'm curious if this will be the base model pricing. The 32 GB 7 Plus is $769, while the 256 GB model is $969. Apple makes its highest margins on the larger capacity iPhones as it certainly doesn't cost $200 additional for that 256 GB upgrade. Apple could give up some margins without the device seeming excessively expensive. Plus, as time goes on, component prices should lower and help improve margins.
If the iPhone 8 was say 128 GB for $1000, that's not too big of a surcharge over the current iPhone 7 Plus for those who want the latest and greatest.
4K Apple TV rumored for this fall
The updated box, to be revealed alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch models at an event in September, will run a faster processor capable of streaming the higher-resolution 4K content, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't yet public.
Also expected is support for High Dynamic Range or HDR, which is one of latest bullet points on new generation TVs. Similar to photos, HDR offers improved image color and brightness.
To enjoy these features, you'll need a supported display, so it my most appeal to AV early adopters. I'd be interested to see what's in store for Apple TV for content and software.
Report: Apple�s automotive ambitions are more modest
It's been rumored for some time that Apple has shifted and refocused its automotive ambitions. No longer looking to build its own line of vehicles, the company is rumored to be working on systems that could make a car autonomous.
The New York Times offers some details of what may have caused this shift in strategy.
The New York Times:
But the car project ran into trouble, said the five people familiar with it, dogged by its size and by the lack of a clearly defined vision of what Apple wanted in a vehicle. Team members complained of shifting priorities and arbitrary or unrealistic deadlines.
Verizon begins throttling video bandwidth
Verizon announced this week it will begin throttling bandwidth on video content over its wireless network. The change affects both unlimited and metered data plans. Unlimited customers will receive 480p video and regular data plans will be limited to 720p.
Customers who buy a new unlimited data plan can get higher-quality video for an extra $10 per month. The higher video quality of 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets will be available on Verizon's "Beyond Unlimited" plan, which is $85 a month for a smartphone connection and another $20 for a tablet. Verizon says that with these resolutions, video quality should be about the same on the larger screens of tablets as it is on the smaller screens of phones.
That's just absurd. Even worse I think are people who are paying for bandwidth, but still being restricted in how they use what they purchased.
Siri Co-Founder talks about AI in TED talk
Siri c-founder and Apple AI exec Tom Gruber gave a TED talk that's now available online. The presentation is on humanistic AI, which is how we can improve as machine learning improves. He argues that AI can augment our capabilities and memory for better lives.
Via 9 to 5 Mac