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Apple increases prices of iPhones, ex-SE, after duty hike

NEW DELHI: Apple has increased prices of all its iPhone models by an average of 3.5%, except for iPhone SE which is assembled in India, after the government increased import duty on mobile phones by 5% last week.

The increase that became effective early morning today has made priciest model like the iPhone X 256 GB dearer by Rs 3,000-3,500, to Rs 1,05,720. The starting prices of iPhone 6 and 6s are now higher by Rs 1500 or so, to Rs 30,780 and Rs 41,550, respectively.

Apple confirmed the change in pricing, adding that new prices will be effective from Monday, and have been changed on its website as well.

The government has increased basic customs duty on all mobile phones being imported into India to 15%, from earlier 10%, last week, while increasing the import duty for other electronic products such as televisions and microwaves.

While the increase is effective on all brands that import phones, Apple was the most effected as it imports about 88% of the phones it sells in India, as per analysts. Apple assembles the iPhone SE model through contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru, but that’s the only model being made locally.

One of the analysts told ET that with this increase, prices of iPhones in India could well be the highest among several countries in the world. They added that the duty increase should prompt the Cupertino based smartphone maker to assemble more models in India, which it considers as one of its most important markets globally.

iOS 11.2.1 now available for iPhones and iPads – CNBC.com

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3f7a8_104897039-4ED5-BL-IOS-121317.600x400 iOS 11.2.1 now available for iPhones and iPads - CNBC.com


Apple just rolled out a new update for iPhones and iPads.

IOS 11.2.1 is important to apply, specifically if you have a smart home that uses a HomeKit-enabled smart lock. A vulnerability in iOS 11.2 makes it possible for hackers to potentially take advantage of the bug to unlock a smart lock that was connected to HomeKit. In other words, an educated hacker could have potentially unlocked your front door.

That’s patched in iOS 11.2.1, which is rolling out now. You can get it by going to Settings General Software Update.

3f7a8_104897039-4ED5-BL-IOS-121317.600x400 iOS 11.2.1 now available for iPhones and iPads - CNBC.com

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Next year’s iPhones will get a huge head start on every Android phone

Apple isn’t able to meet iPhone X demand, as the phone remains sold out around the world, but there’s already talk about next year’s iPhones.

Apple will ready three iPhones for September 2018, reports say, and all of them are supposed to have the same basic design as the iPhone X, Face ID camera notch included. A new report also reveals what may seem like a tiny detail about the near future of the smartphone business, but it’s a crucial one for the iPhone vs. Android competition.

Qualcomm and MediaTek are yet to advance to 7nm nodes for mobile processors Dititimes says, which isn’t a detail most smartphone buyers will care about.

The report says that only two companies in the world can really afford to move to 7nm chips as soon as next year, and that’s Apple and Samsung. That means future flagships, including 2018 iPhone X and Galaxy models may sport 7nm chips inside. These processors will be even more efficient than the 10nm chips that power this year’s hottest mobile phones. When it comes to performance, the report notes that there’s little difference between 7nm and 10nm, which is why some smartphone makers won’t be ready to make the jump to 7nm chips yet.

However, we’ll point out the fact that Samsung’s first flagship of the year, the Galaxy S9, is likely to use a beefed up 10nm chip. Samsung is making Exynos 9810 and Snapdragon 845 on the improved 10nm node, even though it announced a few weeks ago that it’s also ready to mass-produce 8nm chips.

Apple, meanwhile, is working with TSMC, on 7nm chips that may be found inside all 2018 iPhones and iPads.

The report notes that a smartphone chip maker needs to ship 120 to 150 million 7nm chips a year to turn a profit. That’s the kind of volume that can only be achieved by a few companies out there, including Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and MediaTek.

From the looks of it, only Apple may move to 7nm chips next year, which may turn out to be a major advantage over almost every Android flagship launched by competitors.

Powermat to upgrade to 15W wireless charging, support Apple’s new iPhones

Powermat plans to release an upgrade to its wireless charging technology in January  that will enable 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

The wireless charging company also plans to release an under-tabletop product that allows users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving a charge.

By moving from 5 watts to 15 watts with the upcoming software upgrade, Powermat chargers will transfer power to a mobile device at the same rate as a traditional charging cable, according to Powermat CTO Itay Sherman.

The upgrade, to be formally unveiled at CES in January, will also open the door for future software improvements, including power transfer rates of up to 65 watts; that would cover everything from tablets to laptops, Sherman said.

Apple’s Alleged Throttling of Older iPhones With Degraded Batteries Causes Controversy

A Reddit post over the weekend has drawn a flurry of interest after an iPhone 6s owner reported that a battery replacement significantly increased the device’s performance running iOS 11. The ensuing discussion thread, also picked up by readers in the MacRumors forum, has led to speculation that Apple intentionally slows down older phones to retain a full day’s charge if the battery has degraded over time.

According to TeckFire, the author of the original Reddit post, their iPhone had been very slow after updating to iOS 11, especially compared to their brother’s iPhone 6 Plus, so they decided to do some research with GeekBench and battery life apps, and ended up replacing the battery.

MacRumors’ Geekbench scores for iPhone 6s before and after battery drain

Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge.

Just over a year ago, Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 6s owners after some users reported their devices were unexpectedly shutting down. Apple said the problem was down to a manufacturing issue affecting a “very small” number of iPhone 6s devices, and offered battery replacements free of charge to owners of devices within a limited serial number range.

Around two months later, Apple released iOS 10.2.1 and said the update resulted in an 80 percent reduction in unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 devices. However, Apple explained this was about fixing a more widely reported issue caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, and claimed it was separate from the manufacturing fault that had caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices.

This weekend’s Reddit thread – running to over 500 comments as of writing – appears to have kicked off a wave of speculation about whether the two shutdown issues are in fact related, and that Apple’s fix involves dynamically throttling the phones’ maximum clock speeds relative to battery output (voltage), to prevent them from drawing too much power and shutting down.

Reports that the performance of iPhone 6 series models can be improved by replacing the battery aren’t entirely new, but the suggestion that Apple is intentionally throttling the performance of older devices, for whatever reason, is bound to cause controversy. We’ve contacted Apple for comment or clarification.

In the meantime, users interested in checking their phone’s performance are also using the free CpuDasherX app to compare running clock speeds (a factory iPhone 6s comes in at 1,848MHz, for example). Let us know your findings in the comments below. Lastly, it’s worth noting that DIY iPhone battery replacements or repairs performed by a third party will void any Apple warranty still covering said devices.

The 2018 iPhones may have bigger batteries, but that’s not necessarily good news

One of the world’s leading iPhone analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, predicts the 2018 iPhones will pack bigger batteries. 

But hold on — this doesn’t necessarily mean next year’s iPhones will have longer battery lives. 

Kuo regularly releases investor notes about whatever he thinks Apple is brewing in RD, and he’s grown famous by often being correct. His most recent note, spotted by 9to5Mac, predicts Apple’s forthcoming handsets could have 10 percent more battery capacity than the current generation.

Battery life isn’t an easy thing to measure, in part because people use phones in different ways. Using Skype, for example, will drain more energy than someone checking their email. But Mashable Senior Tech Correspondent Ray Wong says iPhones generally have between four and five hours of “on-screen” battery life (as opposed to the phone just sitting around in “standby” mode) before the phone needs to be recharged.

So if an iPhone with around five hours of battery life gets enhanced by 10 percent, this means an added 30 minutes of juice. 

However, Apple might not funnel this extra power to simply extend battery life. Instead, Apple may use this added capacity to power newer features Apple plans for its next phones. An added feature this year, for instance, was the TrueDepth Camera on the iPhone X, which uses a sophisticated combination of cameras for Face ID and its extremely detailed front-facing selfie camera

Kuo thinks the next phones will adopt the novel L-shaped battery placement seen inside the iPhone X; instead of just one long battery, the iPhone X has two battery cells laid in a capital “L” shape. 

Like the iPhone X, Kuo also thinks Apple will release two phones next year with OLED displays, rather than traditional LCD displays. OLED saves a significant amount of power because it doesn’t use a backlight — a major battery drain. Instead, individual pixels in an OLED panel turn on and off.

WATCH: Can this drag queen trick the iPhone X’s Face ID?

 

The 2018 iPhones may have bigger batteries, but that’s not necessarily good news

One of the world’s leading iPhone analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, predicts the 2018 iPhones will pack bigger batteries. 

But hold on — this doesn’t necessarily mean next year’s iPhones will have longer battery lives. 

Kuo regularly releases investor notes about whatever he thinks Apple is brewing in RD, and he’s grown famous by often being correct. His most recent note, spotted by 9to5Mac, predicts Apple’s forthcoming handsets could have 10 percent more battery capacity than the current generation.

Battery life isn’t an easy thing to measure, in part because people use phones in different ways. Using Skype, for example, will drain more energy than someone checking their email. But Mashable Senior Tech Correspondent Ray Wong says iPhones generally have between four and five hours of “on-screen” battery life (as opposed to the phone just sitting around in “standby” mode) before the phone needs to be recharged.

So if an iPhone with around five hours of battery life gets enhanced by 10 percent, this means an added 30 minutes of juice. 

However, Apple might not funnel this extra power to simply extend battery life. Instead, Apple may use this added capacity to power newer features Apple plans for its next phones. An added feature this year, for instance, was the TrueDepth Camera on the iPhone X, which uses a sophisticated combination of cameras for Face ID and its extremely detailed front-facing selfie camera

Kuo thinks the next phones will adopt the novel L-shaped battery placement seen inside the iPhone X; instead of just one long battery, the iPhone X has two battery cells laid in a capital “L” shape. 

Like the iPhone X, Kuo also thinks Apple will release two phones next year with OLED displays, rather than traditional LCD displays. OLED saves a significant amount of power because it doesn’t use a backlight — a major battery drain. Instead, individual pixels in an OLED panel turn on and off.

WATCH: Can this drag queen trick the iPhone X’s Face ID?

 

Apple Store app for iOS adds support for buying iPhones w/o carrier pre-authorization, more

Apple has quietly updated its Apple Store app for iOS this evening. The update brings the app to version 4.4 and includes new checkout features, a new iPhone purchasing option, and iOS 11 enhancements…


a4c88_spigen-teka-on-airpods Apple Store app for iOS adds support for buying iPhones w/o carrier pre-authorization, more

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

The update brings a new scanner that makes it easier to add your credit card information at checkout. This means you no longer have to take the time to manually enter your credit details, making the checkout process significantly easier.

Furthermore, Apple says that users can now buy a full-price iPhone without going through the pre-authorization process, another move that significantly speeds up the checkout process. Instead of going through the pre-authorization process, users will simply activate later. Note this process has been available on Apple.com for the iPhone X since November.

Finally, Apple says there are various other iOS 11 enhancements included in this update:

What’s New in Version 4.4

  • iOS 11 enhancements
  • Scanner now available to easily add your credit card information at checkout
  • Customers now have the option to bypass pre-authorization and activate later on full price purchases of iPhones on ATT, Verizon, or Sprint

The Apple Store app is a free download on the App Store.


Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Apple Store app for iOS adds support for buying iPhones w/o carrier pre-authorization, more

Apple has quietly updated its Apple Store app for iOS this evening. The update brings the app to version 4.4 and includes new checkout features, a new iPhone purchasing option, and iOS 11 enhancements…


4bf0e_spigen-teka-on-airpods Apple Store app for iOS adds support for buying iPhones w/o carrier pre-authorization, more

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

The update brings a new scanner that makes it easier to add your credit card information at checkout. This means you no longer have to take the time to manually enter your credit details, making the checkout process significantly easier.

Furthermore, Apple says that users can now buy a full-price iPhone without going through the pre-authorization process, another move that significantly speeds up the checkout process. Instead of going through the pre-authorization process, users will simply activate later. Note this process has been available on Apple.com for the iPhone X since November.

Finally, Apple says there are various other iOS 11 enhancements included in this update:

What’s New in Version 4.4

  • iOS 11 enhancements
  • Scanner now available to easily add your credit card information at checkout
  • Customers now have the option to bypass pre-authorization and activate later on full price purchases of iPhones on ATT, Verizon, or Sprint

The Apple Store app is a free download on the App Store.


Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

An Apple analyst is saying next year’s iPhones will use bigger, newly designed batteries

  • The KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently suggested that Apple would make three new iPhones next year.
  • Two of them are expected to be successors to this year’s iPhone X: a new, equal-size 5.8-inch model and an additional Plus-size 6.5-inch variant.
  • There will also reportedly be a third “budget” iPhone, which will keep using LCD displays and come at 6.1 inches in size.
  • The iPhone X’s direct successors will reportedly use an optimized version of the L-shaped batteries inside the iPhone X.
  • The cheaper, LCD iPhone is said to stick to a less costly, traditional rectangular shape battery instead.

The famed KGI Securities analyst and Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo recently sent a note to investors (which we first saw via AppleInsider) in which he says he thinks next year’s OLED iPhones will use newly optimized, L-shaped batteries.

Batteries are among the most difficult components to manufacture because of their chemical structure, which often means most firms stick to a traditional rectangular shape.

But as devices get thinner and pack increasingly complex internals, companies are looking at ways to optimize inside space by tweaking the shape of batteries.

d215b_586fdafd02a3e70150b8498025848817aee7a0bf-800x600 An Apple analyst is saying next year's iPhones will use bigger, newly designed batteries

Apple has already experimented with the L-shape (it features inside the iPhone X); with this manufacturing process, two separate lithium cells are juxtaposed to form a shape that resembles the letter “L.”

Kuo also recently suggested that Apple planned to debut three new iPhones next year: a successor to the iPhone X, still at 5.8 inches, and a bigger, Plus-size version measuring 6.5 inches. Both will reportedly come with organic light-emitting diode displays and use an optimized version of the L-shaped batteries’ technology.

There will also reportedly be a third, “budget” option: It will sport an all-screen design, like the iPhone X, and will even have a TrueDepth camera-wielding notch; however, to cut costs, Apple will stick to a liquid-crystal display and also a traditional rectangular battery.

In his note, Kuo gave an estimate of what he expects the new batteries to be like after Apple optimizes the manufacturing process with its partners Unitech, Compeq, and Unimicron.

The 5.8-inch version will reportedly move from this year’s 2,716 mAh cell inside the iPhone X to a bigger unit between 2,900 and 3,000 mAh, while the wider sibling could sport a much larger cell, ranging between 3,300 and 3,400 mAh.

d215b_586fdafd02a3e70150b8498025848817aee7a0bf-800x600 An Apple analyst is saying next year's iPhones will use bigger, newly designed batteries

The LCD, 6.1-inch option will instead carry a battery that’s believed to be 2,850 to 2,950 mAh; that would make it about the size of the second-gen 5.8-inch iPhone X, despite having a larger overall footprint.

On the other hand, the similar-size 6.5-inch iPhone X may have a battery that’s 350 to 450 mAh larger than the LCD iPhone’s, which could make overall battery life a significant point of advantage over the cheaper option.

University study shows iPhones can miss 21% of your steps – but half of it is your fault

If you use the Activity or Health app on your iPhone to keep track of the number of steps you walk each day, you’re probably doing better than you think. A study by the University of British Columbia found that the iPhone underestimates the number of steps people take by up to 21.5% …


3b66d_screen-shot-2017-03-30-at-14-48-26 University study shows iPhones can miss 21% of your steps – but half of it is your fault

NordVPN

The study tested iPhones against the gold standard for measuring steps: a waist-mounted pedometer. The team also performed laboratory tests where the number of steps walked on a treadmill were counted manually, to provide an absolute measure.

What they found was interesting. For faster walking speeds, in a lab environment, the iPhone was off by less than 5% – an accuracy considered acceptable even in a dedicated pedometer.

For slower walking paces, however, the iPhone underestimated the number of steps by as much as 9.4%. And in real-life use, the iPhone missed 21.5% of steps – an average of 1,340 per day. The UBC says this is explained both by slow walking and by the fact that people don’t take their phones with them everywhere when they are at home or work. Trips to the bathroom and water cooler are two examples where study participants left their phones behind.

The good news, though, is that the study found that inaccuracies consistently resulted from under-reads, not over-reads.

“For people who are already tracking their steps, they can rest assured that if their phone says they’re getting the recommended 10,000 steps in a day, they are probably getting at least that many, and they are working toward better health,” said lead author Mark Duncan. “From a public health point of view, it’s better that it underestimates than overestimates.”

The study was published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Here’s how future iPhones could use camera depth data to create impressive Portrait Mode videos

One of the headline features of the dual camera system in recent iPhones is Portrait Mode, an effect that simulates a DSLR-style shallow depth of field by intelligently blurring the background of your photos. Apple took the feature a step further with the iPhone X, adding Portrait Mode selfies and introducing simulated Portrait Lighting.

While these features are currently limited to still photos, future iPhones could someday use the same technology to bring the depth effect to videos, a stunning look currently only possible with high-end video gear or a considerable amount of work in post-production. This feature could be a game changer for videographers, editors, and consumers alike, who have already embraced the iPhone as a serious filmmaking tool. With some effort, the effect is actually possible with today’s iPhones. Here’s how it can be done.


bec37_tweetbot Here's how future iPhones could use camera depth data to create impressive Portrait Mode videos

Tweetbot For iOS

When you take a photo in Portrait Mode on an iPhone today, the depth information associated with the image is stored as a grayscale depth map. iOS uses this depth map to determine which parts of the photo should be blurred and which should remain in focus. This is the same way that 3D artists fake depth of field in 3D renders – the animation software creates a depth map that’s later interpreted by the renderer.

If you want to create the same effect in a video today, there are two common options. The first and easiest is to spend the money on expensive cameras and lenses with a wide aperture – that’s what gives you a shallow depth of field.

A depth map generated by 3D rendering software. Darker areas are in focus and lighter areas are blurred.

The second and more tedious option is to use post-production software like Adobe After Effects to build your own depth maps or video masks in order to specify which parts of a scene should be in focus. This can involve a strenuous process called rotoscoping, a time-consuming task that is often done frame-by-frame.

iOS 11 includes improved developer frameworks that give more access to depth data captured by the iPhone’s cameras. Apple showed off these new capabilities at WWDC 2017 with a sample app called AVCamPhotoFilter. Essentially, this lets developers capture streaming depth data from the camera at a limited resolution. This sample app is the basis for my solution.

Using both an iPhone X running AVCamPhotoFilter and an iPhone 7 Plus in the standard camera application, I stacked the devices, keeping the lenses as close together as possible. I recorded the same scene on each, screen capturing the depth data on my iPhone X to make a moving depth map. The video below demonstrates the process involved and the depth effect that results.

Bringing both pieces of footage into Adobe After Effects, I was able to add shallow depth of field quite easily to my video by applying a camera lens blur to my footage, and telling After Effects the depth map source. This is essentially what iOS does with depth data today, just behind the scenes.

The result isn’t perfect, but took a fraction of the time that building a depth map by hand would take. The output would be more accurate if both the source video and depth data came from the same camera lens, but AVCamPhotoFilter doesn’t support capturing both concurrently. While there are significant limitations to this workaround, the end result is surprisingly almost as polished as the depth effect is on still photos.

Unlocking Portrait Mode for video on current iPhone hardware may prove to be challenging. The feature is already computationally intensive for still photos, and would be significantly more taxing in a video. Third-party applications like Fabby have attempted to recreate the effect entirely in software, but aren’t convincing. However, Apple’s A-series chips and camera hardware continue to advance by leaps and bounds on a yearly basis, so this feature might not be too far out of reach.

The possibilities of Portrait mode videos extend far beyond simple shallow depth of field effects. The same data could eventually be used to simulate Portrait Lighting in videos – just like in Apple’s own TV ad.

Creative manipulation of depth data could even make possible effects like tilt-shift videos and instant masking of subjects as if they were standing in front of a green screen. Apple has already used this technique to great effect in a recent update to their Clips app on iPhone X, adding “Selfie Scenes” that can place you downtown in a city or even on the set of Star Wars.

Finally, Portrait Mode for video could further establish the iPhone as an essential filmmaking tool. Traditional cameras do not capture depth data at all, giving the iPhone an immediate advantage over even high-end video gear.

Apple has made their dedication to the iPhone’s camera clear, funding a short film shot entirely on iPhone, and devoting significant engineering resources to new camera features with every new model. Portrait Mode videos would take the iPhone one step closer to the goal of not only being the best camera you have with you, but the best camera, period.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Here’s how future iPhones could use camera depth data to create impressive Portrait Mode videos

One of the headline features of the dual camera system in recent iPhones is Portrait Mode, an effect that simulates a DSLR-style shallow depth of field by intelligently blurring the background of your photos. Apple took the feature a step further with the iPhone X, adding Portrait Mode selfies and introducing simulated Portrait Lighting.

While these features are currently limited to still photos, future iPhones could someday use the same technology to bring the depth effect to videos, a stunning look currently only possible with high-end video gear or a considerable amount of work in post-production. This feature could be a game changer for videographers, editors, and consumers alike, who have already embraced the iPhone as a serious filmmaking tool. With some effort, the effect is actually possible with today’s iPhones. Here’s how it can be done.


bec37_tweetbot Here's how future iPhones could use camera depth data to create impressive Portrait Mode videos

Tweetbot For iOS

When you take a photo in Portrait Mode on an iPhone today, the depth information associated with the image is stored as a grayscale depth map. iOS uses this depth map to determine which parts of the photo should be blurred and which should remain in focus. This is the same way that 3D artists fake depth of field in 3D renders – the animation software creates a depth map that’s later interpreted by the renderer.

If you want to create the same effect in a video today, there are two common options. The first and easiest is to spend the money on expensive cameras and lenses with a wide aperture – that’s what gives you a shallow depth of field.

A depth map generated by 3D rendering software. Darker areas are in focus and lighter areas are blurred.

The second and more tedious option is to use post-production software like Adobe After Effects to build your own depth maps or video masks in order to specify which parts of a scene should be in focus. This can involve a strenuous process called rotoscoping, a time-consuming task that is often done frame-by-frame.

iOS 11 includes improved developer frameworks that give more access to depth data captured by the iPhone’s cameras. Apple showed off these new capabilities at WWDC 2017 with a sample app called AVCamPhotoFilter. Essentially, this lets developers capture streaming depth data from the camera at a limited resolution. This sample app is the basis for my solution.

Using both an iPhone X running AVCamPhotoFilter and an iPhone 7 Plus in the standard camera application, I stacked the devices, keeping the lenses as close together as possible. I recorded the same scene on each, screen capturing the depth data on my iPhone X to make a moving depth map. The video below demonstrates the process involved and the depth effect that results.

Bringing both pieces of footage into Adobe After Effects, I was able to add shallow depth of field quite easily to my video by applying a camera lens blur to my footage, and telling After Effects the depth map source. This is essentially what iOS does with depth data today, just behind the scenes.

The result isn’t perfect, but took a fraction of the time that building a depth map by hand would take. The output would be more accurate if both the source video and depth data came from the same camera lens, but AVCamPhotoFilter doesn’t support capturing both concurrently. While there are significant limitations to this workaround, the end result is surprisingly almost as polished as the depth effect is on still photos.

Unlocking Portrait Mode for video on current iPhone hardware may prove to be challenging. The feature is already computationally intensive for still photos, and would be significantly more taxing in a video. Third-party applications like Fabby have attempted to recreate the effect entirely in software, but aren’t convincing. However, Apple’s A-series chips and camera hardware continue to advance by leaps and bounds on a yearly basis, so this feature might not be too far out of reach.

The possibilities of Portrait mode videos extend far beyond simple shallow depth of field effects. The same data could eventually be used to simulate Portrait Lighting in videos – just like in Apple’s own TV ad.

Creative manipulation of depth data could even make possible effects like tilt-shift videos and instant masking of subjects as if they were standing in front of a green screen. Apple has already used this technique to great effect in a recent update to their Clips app on iPhone X, adding “Selfie Scenes” that can place you downtown in a city or even on the set of Star Wars.

Finally, Portrait Mode for video could further establish the iPhone as an essential filmmaking tool. Traditional cameras do not capture depth data at all, giving the iPhone an immediate advantage over even high-end video gear.

Apple has made their dedication to the iPhone’s camera clear, funding a short film shot entirely on iPhone, and devoting significant engineering resources to new camera features with every new model. Portrait Mode videos would take the iPhone one step closer to the goal of not only being the best camera you have with you, but the best camera, period.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

Apple, as it does every year, held its Keynote event at the newly inaugurated Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, Calif. in September. The event is Apple’s yearly chance to unveil and launch its latest series of devices and software. At the event, Apple once again did what it does best: Showing off slight upgrades to its existing iPhones and making it seem like it’s the biggest technological advancements in the history of mankind.

This year, Apple unveiled its next generation of iPhones — the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and also introduced its top-of-the-line model, the iPhone X. The iPhone X, which finally began shipping in November, was the show-stealer for most Apple partisans, but it left some others a bit perplexed. Most bewildering: The company ditched its traditional home button. That means there is no fingerprint sensor in the iPhone X. Then how do you unlock it? Well, Apple has implemented facial recognition technology to unlock the device. And then there’s that notch, which we’ll get to a bit later.

But let’s begin with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

What’s new about these newest iPhones?

290f9_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus look almost identical to the previous iPhones  — namely the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While the overall form-factor and the chassis design in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus remain similar to that of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a major difference is that the newer ones come with a glass back instead of the aluminum back used in earlier models. Apple said the glass gives the devices a “premium look and feel.” But the fear of accidental drops and shatter also comes along with the premium glass back. However, thanks to its glass back, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus supports wireless charging, which was first launched with Nokia’s Lumia device back in 2012.

Speaking about the specifications, there isn’t much of an upgrade when it comes to display size, resolution, cameras, battery capacity, memory, and RAM. However, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have received a different processor than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company claims that the latest Bionic chipset is 25 percent faster and efficient than the previously used A10 Fusion chipset. But only time can reveal how well this new processor fares in real-time usage and performance. The latest devices have also received minor upgrades in terms of its connectivity options such as the Bluetooth 5.0 vs. the Bluetooth 4.2 in iPhone 7s.

The iPhone 8 starts at a base price of $699, whereas the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. All variants of iPhone 8 and 8 plus are priced approximately $100 more than the release prices of the last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, respectively. Considering these minor upgrades and tweaks, we believe that you might well want to skip this version of iPhones if you’re already using an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. But if you’re planning to upgrade to the new iPhones to take advantage of the wireless charging, be aware that the wireless charger is not bundled in the box.

Now, about that ‘futuristic’ iPhone X

The iPhone X (and don’t call it iPhone “ex”; Apple says it’s pronounced iPhone “ten”) is the first-ever iPhone to come with a radically new and revamped design. The device comes with an edge-to-edge all-screen design, which was previously seen in the devices such as the Xiaomi’s Mi Mix and the mainstream Samsung Galaxy S8. Apple has also ditched its home button along with TouchID and fingerprint sensor and replaced it with facial recognition unlocking feature.

Before we start speaking about the specifications of the device, let’s first give a thought to the facial recognition-based unlocking. According to Apple, iPhone X uses a very powerful system of facial recognition technology known as TrueDepth camera system. It uses a combination of sensors and light projectors to recognize your face in an instant. Prior to this, we’ve seen other biometric-based unlocking features such as fingerprints, voice, and iris scanners.

If you’ve already used any such biometric-based feature on your smartphone, say a fingerprint scanner, you might have already faced issues when trying to unlock the device. Even a minute amount of dirt, dust, or liquid can hinder the fingerprint scanning, which proves out to be quite annoying. We hope that’s not the case with the iPhone X. Finally, unlike the Touch ID, Apple’s all-new Face ID will support only one face per iPhone — although there’s already been some controversy about that.

And while the iPhone X is definitely beautiful with its eye-catching display, there’s something else that has caught people’s eyes. But perhaps most bewildering — and annoying — the top of the screen has an intrusive notch where the front-facing camera and other sensors are located. For some, the notch is a deal-breaker. And speaking of breaking, do not drop your iPhone X. The repair costs will be staggering.

290f9_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

As far as the specifications, the device sports a 5.8-inch OLED display with Super-Retina display. Under the hood, the device is powered by a hexa-core Apple A11 Bionic processor. For the imaging, the device has a dual 12-megapixels primary and a 7-megapixels secondary front-facing camera. The iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus basically have the same set of innards — except for the “all-screen” OLED display and, most importantly, the price. The base variant of iPhone X starts at $999, which is about $300 more than the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 11

iOS is arguably the most secure mobile operating system. During the launch of iOS 11, the company made it very clear that this version of iOS is highly productive with more intuitive UI. Before we speak about the fancy UI updates in iOS, let’s speak about the features that actually matter.

We’re speaking about the productive aspects of iOS 11, which every enterprise and potential user looks for. iOS 11 now comes with a device-enrollment program (DEP), which was previously restricted to the devices that were purchased from an Apple authorized store. DEP provides a streamlined way to deploy corporate-owned Apple devices. All the devices enrolled can be monitored or supervised over the air. This way, an enterprise can have better supervision over their employees and allows it to set up restrictions and enterprise-specific customizations.

290f9_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

With the iOS 11, Apple has also made a few security enhancements to protect the iOS devices. The devices will now be able to establish complete trust by either manually installing security certificates or by the automated mobile device management. Setting up custom ports and transport layer security (TLS) for the AirPrints is now possible with the iOS 11. Finally, with iOS 11, security administrators can disable VPN connections on a managed iOS device, which enables an enterprise to secure itself and its employees by providing secure access to corporate resources.

Speaking about the other updates in the iOS 11, Apple finally made the notification panel hassle-free by placing all missed and recent notifications in one place. Other features in the iOS 11 include advanced Siri, smarter keyboard, better maps, and finally a customizable control center.

All this information was stated by Apple at the launch event. What the company didn’t cover has now been covered by millions of Apple users around the globe. Yes, we’re speaking about the bugs and issues in iOS 11.

Here are some of the notable and annoying bugs, which Apple may have possibly overlooked before the launch:

  • Disabling Bluetooth and WiFi from the control center doesn’t actually disable them. Instead, it just disconnects from the existing connections
  • Issues in the iOS 11’s mail app, which affects Outlook, Office 365, and Exchange 2016. This is a serious concern for most of the enterprise users.

Apart from these two issues, backup and sync-related issues, reduced battery life, overheating, and control center’s auto popup are few more issues reported by users.

Considering the specifications, features, flaws, and most importantly the wallet-shaking pricing of the devices, Apple has disappointed a sizable number of users with the new iPhones — minus the Apple fanboys and fangirls, of course.

An Android handset, which provides a similar set of specifications and features, is priced at almost half the price of an Apple device. So what makes these Apple devices unique from other handsets, especially considering the bulky price tags? Is it the brand-factor, which many people consider, or is it because of the refined iOS? Whatever the reason, we just hope that the company and its aficionados will one day explain how a smartphone, which is now considered as a basic necessity, justifies a four-digit price.

Photo credit: Apple


New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

Apple, as it does every year, held its Keynote event at the newly inaugurated Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, Calif. in September. The event is Apple’s yearly chance to unveil and launch its latest series of devices and software. At the event, Apple once again did what it does best: Showing off slight upgrades to its existing iPhones and making it seem like it’s the biggest technological advancements in the history of mankind.

This year, Apple unveiled its next generation of iPhones — the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and also introduced its top-of-the-line model, the iPhone X. The iPhone X, which finally began shipping in November, was the show-stealer for most Apple partisans, but it left some others a bit perplexed. Most bewildering: The company ditched its traditional home button. That means there is no fingerprint sensor in the iPhone X. Then how do you unlock it? Well, Apple has implemented facial recognition technology to unlock the device. And then there’s that notch, which we’ll get to a bit later.

But let’s begin with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

What’s new about these newest iPhones?

4730d_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus look almost identical to the previous iPhones  — namely the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While the overall form-factor and the chassis design in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus remain similar to that of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a major difference is that the newer ones come with a glass back instead of the aluminum back used in earlier models. Apple said the glass gives the devices a “premium look and feel.” But the fear of accidental drops and shatter also comes along with the premium glass back. However, thanks to its glass back, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus supports wireless charging, which was first launched with Nokia’s Lumia device back in 2012.

Speaking about the specifications, there isn’t much of an upgrade when it comes to display size, resolution, cameras, battery capacity, memory, and RAM. However, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have received a different processor than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company claims that the latest Bionic chipset is 25 percent faster and efficient than the previously used A10 Fusion chipset. But only time can reveal how well this new processor fares in real-time usage and performance. The latest devices have also received minor upgrades in terms of its connectivity options such as the Bluetooth 5.0 vs. the Bluetooth 4.2 in iPhone 7s.

The iPhone 8 starts at a base price of $699, whereas the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. All variants of iPhone 8 and 8 plus are priced approximately $100 more than the release prices of the last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, respectively. Considering these minor upgrades and tweaks, we believe that you might well want to skip this version of iPhones if you’re already using an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. But if you’re planning to upgrade to the new iPhones to take advantage of the wireless charging, be aware that the wireless charger is not bundled in the box.

Now, about that ‘futuristic’ iPhone X

The iPhone X (and don’t call it iPhone “ex”; Apple says it’s pronounced iPhone “ten”) is the first-ever iPhone to come with a radically new and revamped design. The device comes with an edge-to-edge all-screen design, which was previously seen in the devices such as the Xiaomi’s Mi Mix and the mainstream Samsung Galaxy S8. Apple has also ditched its home button along with TouchID and fingerprint sensor and replaced it with facial recognition unlocking feature.

Before we start speaking about the specifications of the device, let’s first give a thought to the facial recognition-based unlocking. According to Apple, iPhone X uses a very powerful system of facial recognition technology known as TrueDepth camera system. It uses a combination of sensors and light projectors to recognize your face in an instant. Prior to this, we’ve seen other biometric-based unlocking features such as fingerprints, voice, and iris scanners.

If you’ve already used any such biometric-based feature on your smartphone, say a fingerprint scanner, you might have already faced issues when trying to unlock the device. Even a minute amount of dirt, dust, or liquid can hinder the fingerprint scanning, which proves out to be quite annoying. We hope that’s not the case with the iPhone X. Finally, unlike the Touch ID, Apple’s all-new Face ID will support only one face per iPhone — although there’s already been some controversy about that.

And while the iPhone X is definitely beautiful with its eye-catching display, there’s something else that has caught people’s eyes. But perhaps most bewildering — and annoying — the top of the screen has an intrusive notch where the front-facing camera and other sensors are located. For some, the notch is a deal-breaker. And speaking of breaking, do not drop your iPhone X. The repair costs will be staggering.

4730d_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

As far as the specifications, the device sports a 5.8-inch OLED display with Super-Retina display. Under the hood, the device is powered by a hexa-core Apple A11 Bionic processor. For the imaging, the device has a dual 12-megapixels primary and a 7-megapixels secondary front-facing camera. The iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus basically have the same set of innards — except for the “all-screen” OLED display and, most importantly, the price. The base variant of iPhone X starts at $999, which is about $300 more than the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 11

iOS is arguably the most secure mobile operating system. During the launch of iOS 11, the company made it very clear that this version of iOS is highly productive with more intuitive UI. Before we speak about the fancy UI updates in iOS, let’s speak about the features that actually matter.

We’re speaking about the productive aspects of iOS 11, which every enterprise and potential user looks for. iOS 11 now comes with a device-enrollment program (DEP), which was previously restricted to the devices that were purchased from an Apple authorized store. DEP provides a streamlined way to deploy corporate-owned Apple devices. All the devices enrolled can be monitored or supervised over the air. This way, an enterprise can have better supervision over their employees and allows it to set up restrictions and enterprise-specific customizations.

4730d_iphone8 New iPhones: Has Apple jumped the shark?

With the iOS 11, Apple has also made a few security enhancements to protect the iOS devices. The devices will now be able to establish complete trust by either manually installing security certificates or by the automated mobile device management. Setting up custom ports and transport layer security (TLS) for the AirPrints is now possible with the iOS 11. Finally, with iOS 11, security administrators can disable VPN connections on a managed iOS device, which enables an enterprise to secure itself and its employees by providing secure access to corporate resources.

Speaking about the other updates in the iOS 11, Apple finally made the notification panel hassle-free by placing all missed and recent notifications in one place. Other features in the iOS 11 include advanced Siri, smarter keyboard, better maps, and finally a customizable control center.

All this information was stated by Apple at the launch event. What the company didn’t cover has now been covered by millions of Apple users around the globe. Yes, we’re speaking about the bugs and issues in iOS 11.

Here are some of the notable and annoying bugs, which Apple may have possibly overlooked before the launch:

  • Disabling Bluetooth and WiFi from the control center doesn’t actually disable them. Instead, it just disconnects from the existing connections
  • Issues in the iOS 11’s mail app, which affects Outlook, Office 365, and Exchange 2016. This is a serious concern for most of the enterprise users.

Apart from these two issues, backup and sync-related issues, reduced battery life, overheating, and control center’s auto popup are few more issues reported by users.

Considering the specifications, features, flaws, and most importantly the wallet-shaking pricing of the devices, Apple has disappointed a sizable number of users with the new iPhones — minus the Apple fanboys and fangirls, of course.

An Android handset, which provides a similar set of specifications and features, is priced at almost half the price of an Apple device. So what makes these Apple devices unique from other handsets, especially considering the bulky price tags? Is it the brand-factor, which many people consider, or is it because of the refined iOS? Whatever the reason, we just hope that the company and its aficionados will one day explain how a smartphone, which is now considered as a basic necessity, justifies a four-digit price.

Photo credit: Apple


HEX and Disney Release Official Star Wars Cases for Latest iPhones Ahead of ‘The Last Jedi’ Premiere

Disney and accessory maker HEX have teamed up to release official Star Wars cases for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, ahead of the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15.


The genuine leather cases are debossed with Star Wars art and iconic characters such as Darth Vader, R2-D2, and stormtroopers, with styles including snap-on cases, folio wallets, and zipper wallets with slots for cards, IDs, and cash.

The cases are available now on HEX’s website and at select retailers for between $49.95 and $69.95 each in the United States.

Apple’s iPhones Prevail Over Android in Smartphone Performance Battle

Interestingly, both Android and iOS devices have seen their failure rates increase quarter-over-quarter. In Q2 2017, for example, the failure rate for iOS devices worldwide was 12 percent. This has since increased to 16 percent in Q3 2017. Android devices have experienced a similar struggle, with the failure rate worldwide jumping from 25 percent in Q2 2017 to 30 percent in Q3 2017.

Key highlights from the Q3 2017 trend report include:

  • The iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 Plus models are plagued by high failure rates. In Q3 2017, the iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate (26 percent), followed by the iPhone 6S (11 percent) and the iPhone 7 Plus (9 percent).
  • Samsung, Xiaomi and LG smartphones struggle with performance issues and failures. In Q3 2017, Samsung was the Android manufacturer with the highest failure rate (53 percent). Meanwhile, Xiaomi and LG emerged in the list of Android manufacturers with high failure rates, at 4 percent and 2 percent respectively.
  • WiFi, receiver and Bluetooth problems cause frequent lags on iOS devices. Based on our Q3 2017 diagnostics data, WiFi accounted for 3 percent of the performance issues worldwide on iOS devices, followed by the receiver (2 percent) and Bluetooth (2 percent).
  • Battery charge and carrier signal issues frustrate Android smartphone users. In Q3 2017, battery charge ranked as the fourth most common performance issue (5 percent) on Android smartphones worldwide. Meanwhile, the carrier signal also ranked high on the list of performance issues worldwide, at 6 percent.
  • iOS apps crash seven times more frequently than Android apps. In Q3 2017, iOS apps crashed at a rate of 57 percent. This is significantly higher than the rate at which Android apps crashed (8 percent).
  • Rooting is commonplace among Android users, while iOS jailbreaking is on the decline. According to our Q3 2017 data, Android users are more inclined to root their devices than iOS users are to jailbreak their iPhones. In fact, the rate of jailbroken devices worldwide was only 0.038 percent, which is considerably lower than the rate of rooted Android devices (0.99 percent).

In September 2017, Apple unveiled its newest iPhone models – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. These models have been lauded by mobile industry experts and have received significant interest and sales from users already. “Apple has always tried to offer the best quality and reliability with its iPhones,” said Russ Ernst, VP of Product Management, Blancco Technology Group. “There’s no doubt that Apple will continue to innovate with these newest models. But with drastic design changes and the introduction of new technology features, such as the facial recognition feature on the iPhone X, there may be some challenges and performance issues that will arise. If and when these occur, accurately diagnosing and resolving those issues will be key to improving the user experience and customer satisfaction.”

About Blancco Technology Group
Blancco Technology Group (AIM: BLTG) is the de facto standard in data erasure and mobile device diagnostics. The Blancco Data Eraser solutions provide thousands of organizations with an absolute line of defense against costly security breaches, as well as verification of regulatory compliance through a 100% tamper-proof audit trail. Our data erasure solutions have been tested, certified, approved and recommended by 18 governing bodies around the world. No other security firm can boast this level of compliance with the most rigorous requirements set by government agencies, legal authorities and independent testing laboratories.

The Blancco Mobile Diagnostics solutions enable mobile network operators, retailers and insurers to easily, quickly and accurately identify and resolve performance issues on their customers’ mobile devices. As a result, mobile service providers can spend less time dealing with technical issues and, in turn, reduce the quantity of NTF returns, save on operational costs and increase customer satisfaction.  

For more information, visit our website at www.blancco.com.

Media Contacts:
SHIFT Communications for Blancco Technology Group (US)
David Heffernan, Account Director
T: (617) 779-1839
E: blancco@shiftcomm.com

SAY Communications for Blancco Technology Group (Europe)
Robert Hickling, Senior Account Manager
T: 44 (0) 20 8971 6427
E: blancco@saycomms.co.uk

Blancco Technology Group
Ragini Bhalla, Senior Director of Global Communications
E: ragini.bhalla@blancco.com

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SOURCE Blancco Technology Group

Related Links

http://www.blanccotechnologygroup.com

Apple iPhones could run on the company’s own chips as soon as next year: Report

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88ff2_104819340-GettyImages-869816014.530x298 Apple iPhones could run on the company's own chips as soon as next year: Report

Apple is designing its own main power management chips for use in iPhones as early as in 2018, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday citing sources.

Apple’s move would reduce its dependence on Dialog Semiconductor, that makes power-management chips for smartphone makers.

“Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year,” a source said, according to the Nikkei report.

Shares of the Anglo-German chipmaker fell 7.2 percent, while Apple’s shares were up marginally in premarket trading.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dialog could not immediately be reached for comment.



Apple iPhones could run on the company’s own chips as soon as next year: Report

<!– –>


81c8a_104819340-GettyImages-869816014.530x298 Apple iPhones could run on the company's own chips as soon as next year: Report

Apple is designing its own main power management chips for use in iPhones as early as in 2018, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday citing sources.

Apple’s move would reduce its dependence on Dialog Semiconductor, that makes power-management chips for smartphone makers.

“Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year,” a source said, according to the Nikkei report.

Shares of the Anglo-German chipmaker fell 7.2 percent, while Apple’s shares were up marginally in premarket trading.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dialog could not immediately be reached for comment.



Jony Ive talks his start in design, how iPhone X makes earlier iPhones feel ‘disconnected’ & more

Apple’s design chief Jony Ive sat down with Smithsonian Magazine recently to talk how he got his start as a designer and much more. The interview comes as Ive will be featured in the 2017 issue of the magazine and today spoke at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, D.C.


79d0c_spigen-teka-on-airpods Jony Ive talks his start in design, how iPhone X makes earlier iPhones feel 'disconnected' & more

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

In the interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Ive talks about how he got his start in design working alongside his father:

When Jony Ive was a boy, his father, a college professor of design and technology and a silversmith, presented him with an unusual Christmas present—an agreement. “If I spent time determining what I wanted to make and developing the idea with drawings,” Ive recalls, “he would give me some of his time, and together we would go into the university workshops and complete it.”

Over the years they built furniture, a go-cart and parts for a treehouse, working in wood and a variety of metals. “From the earliest days I can remember, I loved drawing and making things.

While Ive has always been known for his sparse and minimalistic designs, he says that over the years his “drawings have become more and more sparse” and that it remains a very fluid process:

It’s often only partly an object. Then the idea sort of bashes backward and forward between a thought, a conversation, another drawing, this time to share the idea. It remains very fluid for quite a while.”

Ive also touched on the iPhone X and how the all-screen dsign is something Apple has “aspired to for years.” He picked up the iPhone 7 Plus used by the Smithsonian interviewer and remarked that “It now seems to me a rather disconnected component housed in an enclosure.”

He was sure to point out, however, that designers don’t always get things right the first time – himself included. For instance, the Apple Watch, while staying relatively the same hardware-wise, has adapted its features over time based on early criticism:

“We don’t get it right all the time,” Ive says of the long process of perfecting any Apple product. “As designers, you’re having to constantly learn.”

Ive discussed many of the same topics today in his hour-long sit down at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, D.C. The Apple design chief talked about the new iPhone X, how important of a role software plays in the user experience, and more.

For instance, Ive had some choice words for Apple rumor stories, calling them “a load of rhetoric that has little basis in fact… cynical clickbait stuff.”

Listen to the full interview below: