News – iDrop News https://www.idropnews.com Apple News, How Tos and Culture. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:21:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 https://cdn.idropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/27140754/cropped-iDrop-fav1-80x80.png News – iDrop News https://www.idropnews.com 32 32 Data Shows More Android Users Are Switching to iPhone 7, 7 Plus https://www.idropnews.com/news/data-shows-android-users-switching-iphone-7-7-plus/45791/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/data-shows-android-users-switching-iphone-7-7-plus/45791/#comments Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:46:08 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=45791 Apple’s revolutionary new flagship isn’t even on store shelves yet, but the company is already attracting more Android switchers now than any other time in the past 12 months, according to new data published Tuesday by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. In the previous three quarters of the last year, CIRP tracked that 14 to 17 […]

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Apple’s revolutionary new flagship isn’t even on store shelves yet, but the company is already attracting more Android switchers now than any other time in the past 12 months, according to new data published Tuesday by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

In the previous three quarters of the last year, CIRP tracked that 14 to 17 percent of consumers purchasing new iPhones were switching from an Android device. However, in the latest quarter — which started in June 2017 — the analytics firm saw that percentage jump up to 20 percent. “With lengthening upgrade cycles and a growing percentage of owners with the most recently released model, continued platform switching will be important to the success of the next iPhones,” the firm noted.

Still, in the latest quarter, over 75 percent of new iPhone buyers were upgrading from a previous Apple device — suggesting a fairly strong brand loyalty for Apple fans. In addition, the analytics company noted that the newest iPhone flagships, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, accounted for 81 percent of all total iPhone sales in the U.S. That can be further broken down into 47 percent for the iPhone 7, and 34 percent for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Last quarter, the amount of consumers purchasing the latest Apple devices didn’t break past 70 percent — which means that the past few months have seen an over 11 percent increase. Presumably, the rise in iPhone 7 sales is due to carrier and retail outlet discounts.

On the other hand, sales of legacy devices have seen a fairly sharp decrease over the past 12 months. In the June 2016 quarter, legacy models accounted for about 34 percent of all iPhone sales, the firm reported. In the most recent quarter of this year, however, that number dropped to just 19 percent of U.S. sales. Still, CIRP’s data bodes well for Apple, as it suggests that consumers are opting for newer and larger devices — even as the highly anticipated iPhone 8 (aka. iPhone Edition or iPhone X) is looming on the horizon.

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T-Mobile Unveils World’s First 600 MHz LTE Network https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/t-mobile-unveils-worlds-first-600-mhz-lte-network/47457/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/t-mobile-unveils-worlds-first-600-mhz-lte-network/47457/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:58:58 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47457 T-Mobile has unveiled the world’s first 600 MHz LTE sites in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which it switched on just yesterday using Nokia equipment. While T-Mobile recently topped the rankings for fastest LTE network in the US in OpenSignal’s recent report, the newest low-band network will be a noticeable step up from the standard 700 MHz LTE […]

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T-Mobile has unveiled the world’s first 600 MHz LTE sites in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which it switched on just yesterday using Nokia equipment. While T-Mobile recently topped the rankings for fastest LTE network in the US in OpenSignal’s recent report, the newest low-band network will be a noticeable step up from the standard 700 MHz LTE deployed by major US carriers today and paves the way for the coming 5G rollout. The 600 MHz sites should also help reduce congestion and boost 4G coverage throughout the US, including indoors and in underserved rural markets, in the near term, which gives T-Mobile a major leg up in its competition with Verizon.

“To work with T-Mobile in lighting up the world’s first 600 MHz LTE network is a momentous achievement,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia. “We knew this spectrum would be key for covering wide areas, providing bandwidth in hard-to-reach places, augmenting capacity and improving data speeds, so we began testing and readying 600 MHz network infrastructure equipment and software long before the incentive auction was over.”

Moreover, the self-described Un-carrier has vowed to establish similar sites in 10 additional states by the end of this year, including Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Oregon, Washington, and Kansas. While this is great news for T-Mobile subscribers, it’s prudent to note that it may be some time before devices that can leverage the network won’t hit the market just yet. T-Mobile noted in its press release that it expects LG and Samsung to ship 600 MHz-capable phones in the fourth quarter of this year, the timing of which suggests that the phones may be the Galaxy Note 8 and V30 lines. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray also stressed that “as T-Mobile gets more partners and devices, there will be a tidal wave of [600MHz compatible devices] in 2018.”

What’s also notable about the deployment is the aggressive timeline leading up to it. Ray boasted that 600 MHz LTE rollout condensed “what would normally be a two-year process” into six months. Verizon, for instance, purchased 700 MHz spectrum in 2008 and switched on the network in 2010. One of the obstacles T-Mobile faced is the fact that TV stations use 600 MHz spectrum in most cases, forcing the carrier to pay expenses out-of-pocket to move them to different frequencies.

And it bears noting that up until earlier this year, T-Mobile lagged behind its rivals in terms of the quantity of low-band spectrum. That all changed at the conclusion of the FCC’s 600 MHz spectrum auction in April, where T-Mobile snapped up 45 percent of all the low-band spectrum– which provides increased coverage and penetration into buildings using fewer towers. The $8 billion purchase quadrupled T-Mobile’s low-band holdings and left it with 31 MHz of 600 MHz licenses. The low-band spectrum haul gives the wireless carrier plenty of breathing room to expand, take on new customers, and build out its 5G network. A few months later, T-Mobile is on track to increase its total LTE coverage to include 6 million more Americans.

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New DirecTV Now Subscribers Will Receive a Free Apple TV https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/new-directv-now-subscribers-will-receive-free-apple-tv/47429/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/new-directv-now-subscribers-will-receive-free-apple-tv/47429/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:34:39 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47429 New subscribers to DirecTV Now will receive a fourth-generation Apple TV free of charge, AT&T announced in a blog post on Wednesday. Specifically, subscribers will need to pre-purchase three months of DirecTV Now service to qualify for the 32-gigabyte Apple TV. It’s worth noting that the deal isn’t available online or through the DirecTV Now […]

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New subscribers to DirecTV Now will receive a fourth-generation Apple TV free of charge, AT&T announced in a blog post on Wednesday.

Specifically, subscribers will need to pre-purchase three months of DirecTV Now service to qualify for the 32-gigabyte Apple TV. It’s worth noting that the deal isn’t available online or through the DirecTV Now app. To qualify, subscribers must sign up for the streaming service at an AT&T retail outlet, an Authorized Retail Store, or by calling AT&T directly. This isn’t the first time that DirecTV Now subscribers had a chance at a free Apple TV, either. AT&T offered a similar promotion when it first launched its DirecTV Now service late last year.

The cheapest DirecTV Now subscription costs about $35 a month and includes more than 60 live and on-demand channels. That means you’ll need to shell out $105 to receive an Apple TV — which is still cheaper than buying the device directly for $149. Other subscription options include a $50-per-month tier for more than 80 channels, a $60 tier for 100+ channels, and a $70 tier for more than 120 channels. Subscribers can also add additional options like HBO and Cinemax streaming for $5 a month each.

Now might be a good time to take advantage of the deal, as the DirecTV Now platform is slated for a major revamp later this year, which will include a cloud-based DVR, an overhauled user interface and a few more channels. Similarly, the Apple TV operating system will be getting an upgrade this fall — which will add Amazon video streaming for the first time.

The deal is pretty straightforward, and there’s not a whole lot of fine print to comb through. If you’d still like to take advantage, the full details of the promotion are available here. Of course, the offer is only available while AT&T’s supply of Apple TVs lasts.

Enter our Apple TV giveaway here.

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Gorgeous Nokia 8 Will Attempt to Overtake Apple’s iPhone 7 https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/gorgeous-nokia-8-will-attempt-to-overtake-apples-iphone-7/47423/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/gorgeous-nokia-8-will-attempt-to-overtake-apples-iphone-7/47423/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:14:03 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47423 HMD Global, the company that owns the rights to produce Nokia-branded devices, unveiled its first Android-powered flagship on Wednesday. And it’s here to take on giants like Apple and Samsung ahead of their own respective 2017 handset launches. The Nokia 8 will be HMD Global’s first attempt at establishing itself as a major player in […]

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HMD Global, the company that owns the rights to produce Nokia-branded devices, unveiled its first Android-powered flagship on Wednesday. And it’s here to take on giants like Apple and Samsung ahead of their own respective 2017 handset launches.

The Nokia 8 will be HMD Global’s first attempt at establishing itself as a major player in the smartphone industry, and it’s leveraging the well-known Nokia brand to do so. “We think we the Nokia brand and the combination of industry leading performance as well as immersive and innovative consumer experience, we will immediately be able to make a mark in the high end segment,” HMD Global’s Florian Seiche told CNBC.

Specification-wise, the Nokia 8 is pretty standard as far as modern Android flagships go. It’ll sport a 5.3-inch LCD display and a Snapdragon 835 CPU. But unlike the recent trend of edge-to-edge display design, the Nokia 8 will retain top and bottom bezels with the standard capacitive controls seen on many current Android models. It’ll ship running Android Nougat 7.1.1. Notably, the Nokia 8 will lack wireless charging or any waterproofing. Arguably, its feature set and design are somewhat dated compared to the likes of upcoming Apple and Samsung devices.

In order to stand out, the Nokia 8 is hinging on several new camera tricks. Most notably, a mode called “bothie” (as opposed to “selfie”). Essentially, it’s a feature that’ll allow users to take pictures or record video using the front and back camera simultaneously. The device will also come equipped with a dual-camera module capable of recording 4K video, as well as 360 degree audio recording technology.

The Nokia 8 is slated to ship in early September in Europe, though it’s not currently clear if it’s headed for U.S. shores. It’ll be priced at €599 ($705) when it launches and will be available in matte silver, polished blue, matte blue and polished copper.

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McDonald’s ‘Borrowed’ iPhone 8 Renders for New Ad Campaign https://www.idropnews.com/news/mcdonalds-uses-unofficial-iphone-8-render-latest-ad-campaign/47409/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/mcdonalds-uses-unofficial-iphone-8-render-latest-ad-campaign/47409/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:45:42 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47409 At this stage in the annual iPhone manufacturing season, we can be fairly confident that all those iPhone 8 leaks we’ve seen sprouting up lately are indeed of the device that Apple will unveil at its media event next month. Though the actual iPhone 8 might feature slight tweaks and come in a few different […]

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At this stage in the annual iPhone manufacturing season, we can be fairly confident that all those iPhone 8 leaks we’ve seen sprouting up lately are indeed of the device that Apple will unveil at its media event next month. Though the actual iPhone 8 might feature slight tweaks and come in a few different colors, the device as we know it has gained quite a bit of notoriety in various factions of the web — mainly because of its design, which will embody a first-of-its-kind form-factor for Apple.

It’s a rather intriguing design, to be sure, which was spearheaded by iPhone aficionado, Benjamin Geskin, who first shared his renders of the device back in March exclusively with iDrop News. Though we’re sure Geskin is thrilled that his leaks are on the cusp of coming to life, we’re also sure he’s not so thrilled by the fact that they’ve been hijacked and used by McDonald’s in its latest, Australia-based ad campaign, promoting the burger chain’s new mymacca’s app for Australian customers, which will allow them to order some of that gut-busting, Mickey Dee’s from their smartphone or tablet.

“They took my render,” Geskin said of the Golden Arch’s e-mail advertisement, which clearly depicts a device resembling the ‘iPhone 8’ he posted to Twitter several months ago. As you can see is Geskin’s Tweet, the device features the all-too-familiar edge-to-edge display with rounded corners, including the appendage at the top which will house the thousand-dollar flagship’s front-facing 3D/AR camera system, earpiece, and expanded sensory array.

While it could certainly be a simple ‘misunderstanding’ — as if McDonald’s paid someone to create their own smartphone mockup — the render used in their ad campaign boasts an appearance so strikingly similar to what Geskin shared with us months ago; that we’d find the whole ‘it’s just a coincidence’ argument to be far-fetched. If indeed McDonald’s did use Geskin’s render without his permission, let’s just hope that justice will ultimately be served — preferably with a side of unlimited fries for life.

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Apple Pay Cuts Support for White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi Sites https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-pay-cuts-support-white-nationalist-neo-nazi-sites/47408/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-pay-cuts-support-white-nationalist-neo-nazi-sites/47408/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:17:26 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47408 Apple is cutting off its payment support for websites that sell white supremacist or Nazi-themed apparel and other paraphernalia, according to a new report. The tech giant confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that it had disabled Apple Pay support for several websites that sold Nazi-themed and white supremacist items. The move closely follows a […]

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Apple is cutting off its payment support for websites that sell white supremacist or Nazi-themed apparel and other paraphernalia, according to a new report.

The tech giant confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that it had disabled Apple Pay support for several websites that sold Nazi-themed and white supremacist items. The move closely follows a series of demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend in which one woman was killed and several others injured when a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

The websites were reportedly found to been violation of Apple Pay’s acceptable use guidelines, which prohibit the use of the company’s proprietary payment system in ways that promote “hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.”

Brien James, the owner of AmericanVikings, told BuzzFeed that he was unaware of the Apple Pay integration in the first place — and didn’t seem too upset with Apple’s move after he called the site a “hobby.” Notably, the site sold a bumper sticker that depicted a vehicle apparently running down a crowd of stick figure demonstrators with the tagline “nobody cares about your protest.” Along with the sticker, AmericanVikings stocks a wide range of white pride apparel. “If they don’t like me, they don’t have to do business with me,” James said.

While Apple isn’t an especially large player in online payments, its recent move echoes varying levels of action taken by other payment platforms and tech companies. Discover, PayPal and Stripe are all in the process of killing support for white nationalist sites, The Verge reported. And on Monday, Google and GoDaddy killed the registration capabilities of white supremacist blog The Daily Stormer. Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp and WordPress are also taking similar actions.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter on Monday to condemn the violence in Charlottesville. “We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before,” Cook wrote in a tweet. “It’s a moral issue — an affront to America. We must all stand against it.” Similarly, on Wednesday, Cook released a longer memo on the matter and pledged that Apple will donate $2 million to fight hate and bigotry across the country.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups, praised Apple’s move in the wake of the Charlottesville violence. Heidi Beirich, the leader of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, likened Apple’s decision to a similar one in 2014 when it decided to remove certain songs tagged as “hate music” from iTunes.

“Tim Cook has been the leader in the fight against hate on tech platforms,” Beirich told BuzzFeed News. “It would be a much better country if people had followed his lead on this front.”

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Apple Pledges $2 Million to Fight Racism After Charlottesville Tragedy https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-pledges-2-million-fight-racism-charlottesville-tragedy/47374/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-pledges-2-million-fight-racism-charlottesville-tragedy/47374/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:58:15 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47374 In the wake of violent protests that erupted last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday opined a thoughtful yet condemnation-infused memo to his employees all around the world — within which he not only condemned the hate and bigotry surrounding the racially-motivated tragedy, but also President Donald Trump’s press conference remarks […]

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In the wake of violent protests that erupted last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday opined a thoughtful yet condemnation-infused memo to his employees all around the world — within which he not only condemned the hate and bigotry surrounding the racially-motivated tragedy, but also President Donald Trump’s press conference remarks concerning the events, according to a copy of the memo obtained by BuzzFeed News. Cook also pledged that his company will donate $2 million to help fight hate.

“Hate is a cancer,” Cook wrote in the memo, while adding that Apple and its employees must be “unequivocal about fighting and denouncing” all forms of bigotry. Regardless of their political views, Cook called on his employees to come together in unity, while reaffirming that Apple is strongly committed to human rights and inclusivity for all. Notably, Cook also chastised President Trump over what he referred to as the Commander-in-chief’s “moral equivalence” between white supremacists and anti-racist protesters.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” Cook noted, while adding that “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

Cook went on to note that Apple will be making two, $1 million donations — one to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and another to the Anti-Defamation League — in hopes of fighting racial injustice and promoting unity in the wake of these violent events. He also noted that Apple will match its employee’s personal contributions to these and other human rights groups, two-for-one, through the month of September. Similarly, Apple will soon offer its customers a way to contribute to the Southern Poverty Law Center via iTunes.

A copy of Cook’s memo is provided below (via BuzzFeed):

Team,

Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.

We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.

In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.

Best,
Tim

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BMW, Intel, and Fiat Ditch Apple to Develop Competing Self-Driving Car https://www.idropnews.com/news/bmw-fiat-chrysler-and-intel-ditch-apple-to-develop-competing-self-driving-car/47359/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/bmw-fiat-chrysler-and-intel-ditch-apple-to-develop-competing-self-driving-car/47359/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:40:03 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47359 During the wayward stages of Apple’s self-driving car endeavor, ‘Project Titan’, the company was rumored to have shifted focus from developing its own automobile, to instead courting several auto-makers in hopes of forging a partnership with at least one. Given the iPhone-maker’s lack of experience manufacturing cars, the company was hoping it would somehow be able […]

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During the wayward stages of Apple’s self-driving car endeavor, ‘Project Titan’, the company was rumored to have shifted focus from developing its own automobile, to instead courting several auto-makers in hopes of forging a partnership with at least one. Given the iPhone-maker’s lack of experience manufacturing cars, the company was hoping it would somehow be able to supply autonomous driving software and underlying technologies, which an auto-maker would then be able to install within a jointly-developed automobile.

One of the many auto-makers Apple was hoping to partner with was BMW, who had at one point been in serious talks with Cupertino about moving forward to that affect — that is, until those talks ultimately fell through back in April, 2016, when a slew of unaddressed concerns resulted in BMW and Daimler-Chrysler walking away from the table in dismay.

Now, in perhaps the most ironic turn of events imaginable, it appears that Fiat-Chrysler Automobile group (FCA) has joined forces with BMW and chip-maker, Intel, as part of an all-new endeavor to jointly develop self-driving car technology without Apple in the mix.

The news broke Wednesday morning when FCA published an announcement of the alliance to its website, which interestingly appears to suggest that FCA is relying on partners like BMW and Intel to supply it with the underlying technology required to make its vehicles “more competitive in the coming decade.”

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” Fiat-Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, wrote in Wednesday’s announcement.

Fiat-Chrysler + BMW/Intel

In its press release, FCA noted that it will essentially be ‘jumping aboard’  the existing alliance between Intel and BMW, which is premised around the chip-maker’s recently acquired self-driving car technology, Mobileye. Interestingly, FCA is already entangled in another partnership with Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, under the terms of which it would supply Waymo with “hundreds of minivans” to facilitate the firm’s pilot testing project in Phoenix, Arizona.

Under the terms of this new partnership with BMW and Intel, however, FCA is hedging its bets on developing what it hopes will ultimately become an “industry standard suite of universal self-driving car technologies,” which the companies could potentially even license to other, smaller auto-makers down the road.

Although FCA has been struggling financially in recent years, the company, which currently ranks as Detroit’s third-largest auto-maker, will reportedly contribute a variety of “engineering resources” to help bolster BMW and Intel’s efforts to develop the best self-driving car technology possible.

While Apple has reportedly shifted its focus (again) to develop a self-driving car platform all its own, there’s essentially a race going on right now in the automotive industry, where car-makers and tech-giants are ramping up their efforts to capture the market before it truly starts heating up in the years to come.

Apple was recently granted a permit to begin testing self-driving cars in the state of California, whereas Google’s Waymo, in comparison, has already begun testing its self-driving car tech with humans behind the wheel. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, meanwhile, has indicated that his company is about two-years away from unveiling a self-driving vehicle. And Ford, Detroit’s second-largest auto-maker, has pledged to release an unconventional new vehicle featuring no steering wheel or pedals by 2021 at the earliest, according to Quartz.

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This App Lets You See a New Movie in Theaters Every Day for $10/m https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/app-lets-see-new-movie-theaters-every-day-10m/47350/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/app-lets-see-new-movie-theaters-every-day-10m/47350/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:05:40 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47350 MoviePass aims to be the Netflix of brick-and-mortar movie theaters. And if anything is an indication of that, the subscription service recently dropped its monthly fee to a shockingly low price. The service allows subscribers to go to one movie showing per day at any U.S. theater. And on Tuesday, MoviePass dropped its monthly subscription […]

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MoviePass aims to be the Netflix of brick-and-mortar movie theaters. And if anything is an indication of that, the subscription service recently dropped its monthly fee to a shockingly low price.

The service allows subscribers to go to one movie showing per day at any U.S. theater. And on Tuesday, MoviePass dropped its monthly subscription fee to $9.95 a month. Yes, you read that right. That means you could technically go to the movies once a day, every day, for about the price of a single ticket. This counteracts the biggest problem with theaters, according to MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe: high ticket prices.

It works because MoviePass actually pays the theaters the full price of each ticket used by subscribers, Bloomberg reported. But it’s pretty incredible because of how low the subscription price is. Previously, the service ran on a tiered system — starting at $15 but running up to $50 a month for unlimited movies in major cities. $10 a month for unlimited movies is a bold — and possibly industry-disruptive — move.

Not that everyone is happy about the new subscription price. AMC threatened legal action, and said that MoviePass’s business model “isn’t sustainable.” The company doesn’t agree, recently telling the Wall Street Journal that it will use the lower price to amass subscribers and convince the film industry to “work with it.” It’s not all doom and gloom for the theater industry, however. Theater attendance has been declining for years now, and MoviePass could help drive more people to go to the movies.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can do so on the MoviePass website, or via the MoviePass iOS app. As of Tuesday, it costs $9.95 a month and includes one movie showing per day at most U.S. theaters that accept debit cards. It doesn’t apply to IMAX and 3D screenings, however.

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Solar Eclipse iPhone Photography: Warnings and Tips https://www.idropnews.com/news/solar-eclipse-iphone-photography-warnings-tips/47339/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/solar-eclipse-iphone-photography-warnings-tips/47339/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:23:45 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47339 This coming Monday, Aug. 21, something extraordinary will happen. For starters, it’ll be the first total solar eclipse to be visible from the contiguous U.S. in roughly 40 years. But perhaps more importantly, it’ll also be the first total solar eclipse of the smartphone era. Here’s what you need to know. Why Is This Solar […]

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This coming Monday, Aug. 21, something extraordinary will happen. For starters, it’ll be the first total solar eclipse to be visible from the contiguous U.S. in roughly 40 years. But perhaps more importantly, it’ll also be the first total solar eclipse of the smartphone era. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Is This Solar Eclipse Special?

Total solar eclipses are a rare celestial phenomenon that occurs when the moon completely blocks out the sun’s light. This year’s eclipse is also the first to be viewable only in the United States, prompting some to dub it “The Great American Eclipse,” according to Time.

Importantly, the eclipse has a “path of totality” where its full effects will be visible, which you can see above (courtesy of Today). When the eclipse passes through these areas, they will be engulfed in sudden and fleeting darkness — even in the middle of the day. It’s a spectacular phenomenon, and close to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The eclipse will make landfall in Salem, Oregon around 10:18 a.m., and eventually wrap up in Charleston, South Carolina around 2:46 p.m.

Outside of that path, only a partial solar eclipse will be visible. Still very cool, but a much more common phenomenon. Perhaps that’s why would-be skygazers have been making plans to be in the path of totality for months. Again, it’ll also be the first total eclipse to occur in an age where smartphones and photography equipment are ubiquitous. So yes, that means we’ll undoubtedly be treated to a deluge of photos and videos across social media.

How to Experience the Solar Eclipse

Of course, your first instinct may be to snap a picture or record a video of the eclipse using your trusty iPhone. But not so fast, say some photographers. For starters, using a smartphone camera pointed directly at the sun would probably result in a picture with a bright blob drowning out any actual detail. But that’s not the only concern, according to Canon eclipse photography expert Ken Sklute.

“In this case, we’ve got the ultimate bright, with very dangerous ultraviolet and infrared rays coming through, and we can almost bet money that folks are going to zoom in as close as they can to the sun,” Sklute told Today. “First off, that can’t be good for the product, but my real concern is for the user.” Even quick glances at the sun can cause significant and even permanent damage to your eyes — and in many cases, you won’t even know if that damage has occurred.

It might be smarter to leave the eclipse photography to the professionals, and just be happy to experience the eclipse without the use of technology. There is, of course, that old-school paper method we probably all remember.

But if you have your heart set on using your iPhone to capture this rare celestial occurrence, here are some tips below.

Solar Eclipse iPhone Photography Tips

  • NASA recommends that you use a solar filter when attempting to capture the eclipse with a smartphone camera. While Apple has said that its iPhone doesn’t need a filter to view the eclipse, it might be best not to risk your beloved smartphone’s photography equipment. This is especially true for prolonged shots or recording video.
  • Additionally, it might be smart to invest in a pair of certified, eclipse-safe glasses for your own two eyes. As we said above, even the smallest glance at the sun can cause injury and permanent damage. Don’t risk it.
  • Use a smartphone tripod. For an event as rare as a total eclipse, you’ll definitely want to avoid shaky cam syndrome and blurry photos as best as you can.
  • Practice, practice, practice. You’ll only have a few minutes to capture that perfect shot when the total eclipse is occurring, so NASA recommends that you rehearse your photography plans. Go to your photo-taking location of choice and practice shooting some photos (or video) just after sunset. If you’re in the path of totality, the level of light during twilight will be similar to the eclipse.
  • Lastly, if you’re really worried about damaging your iPhone’s camera module or components, use a simple point-and-shoot camera. Like with an iPhone, it’s also recommended that you use a solar filter and a tripod when going this method, too.

If you’re really interested in learning more about smartphone-eclipse photography, NASA has a comprehensive guide — available here. For more general information about the eclipse, a great resource is the aptly named site: thegreatamericaneclipse.com.

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Now You Can Watch Four ESPN Games at Once on Apple TV https://www.idropnews.com/news/espn-updated-apple-tv-app-quadruple-sports-enthused-pleasure/47335/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/espn-updated-apple-tv-app-quadruple-sports-enthused-pleasure/47335/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:32:49 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47335 ESPN on Wednesday released a major update to its tvOS live-streaming app for Apple TV, which chiefly allows sports enthusiasts to stream up to four live games simultaneously in a variety of formats. The new feature, dubbed MultiCast, has reportedly been designed to eliminate the viewer’s need to flip through channels just to see a […]

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ESPN on Wednesday released a major update to its tvOS live-streaming app for Apple TV, which chiefly allows sports enthusiasts to stream up to four live games simultaneously in a variety of formats. The new feature, dubbed MultiCast, has reportedly been designed to eliminate the viewer’s need to flip through channels just to see a game’s current progress, ensuring that sports lovers will never have to miss out on the next big play ever again, according to a report from Variety.

While MultiCast was designed to provide viewers with up to four simultaneous streams at one time, the feature actually supports five different viewing modes to fit your specific needs.

  • 2-Up view offers side-by-side game viewing in a picture-in-picture (PIP) format.
  • 3-Up view allows viewers to stream three simultaneous views comprised of one large and two smaller screens.
  • 4-Up view enables the viewer to watch four games via one large and three smaller screens.
  • Grid view will display games in an equal sized grid-like format.

According to the report, ESPN, who produces more than 60,000 hours of programming every year, is also looking into ways in which it could use some of the guide space for viewing more than just live-streamed games. “Down the road, ESPN is thinking of using the other tiles in the MultiCast for content aside from video. For example, those could be playing in-game highlights, fantasy sports updates, alerts, scoreboards or social-media posts,” Variety said.

ESPN & Apple’s 4K TV

Multiple rumors about a 4K-capable Apple TV potentially launching as early as this fall have been circulating the web recently, and the possibilities of ESPN’s MultiCast feature on a 4K television are quite promising.

Viewers with a 4K-capable television and Apple TV will be able to watch four games (each in full 1080p HD resolution) at the same time. And, of course, ESPN is also slated to launch its own subscription-based streaming service as early as next year, which should bode favorably with sports enthusiasts.

In the interim, ESPN says, its MultiCast feature is only available on the Apple TV because “other smart TV platforms” don’t offer the same advanced features and capabilities that Apple’s tvOS has baked in.

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Apple Sets Aside $1 Billion ‘War Chest’ for Original Video Content https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-sets-aside-1-billion-war-chest-for-original-video-content/47309/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-sets-aside-1-billion-war-chest-for-original-video-content/47309/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:52:08 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47309 Apple has in recent months been doubling-down on its efforts to create original, quality content for the Apple TV and Apple Music — but the company’s latest move may arguably represent its boldest effort yet. According to a report published this morning by The Wall Street Journal, the Silicon Valley tech-giant has set aside a […]

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Apple has in recent months been doubling-down on its efforts to create original, quality content for the Apple TV and Apple Music — but the company’s latest move may arguably represent its boldest effort yet. According to a report published this morning by The Wall Street Journal, the Silicon Valley tech-giant has set aside a “war chest” of nearly $1 billion, which sources familiar with the company’s plans say will be used exclusively to either procure or produce original video content over the course of the next year.

The massive sum of money puts Apple in a prime position to compete with original content produced by companies like Amazon and Netflix; the former of which spent roughly the same amount in 2013 to produce hit shows including The Man in the High Castle, Alpha House, and Creative Galaxy. Of course, while $1 billion certainly seems like a lot of money, it’s actually about half of what HBO spent in 2016 to create its line-up of original programming; and so it’s unlikely that Apple is looking to directly compete with the bigger players in the TV space, but rather forge its own path forward.

According to WSJ’ sources, Cupertino could produce as many as 10 original television shows utilizing its 10-digit cash pile, which is expected to be controlled almost exclusively by Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg — the former Sony Pictures executives Apple hired earlier this summer. Another integral force in the decision-making process will be Matt Cherniss — the former President of cable TV-giant, WGN America, who Apple hired earlier this week to oversee its video production unit. Apple’s new hires have reportedly been meeting with a variety of Hollywood agents and studio executives this summer to determine what kind of in-development content the iPhone-maker could buy or produce, but no deals have been etched in stone yet.

What types of shows Apple could produce or purchase the rights to remains unknown at this point, too, however it’s likely that the company will branch out from its current slate of ‘Reality TV’ shows — particularly in light of the growing popularity of shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones, and Netflix’ drama/fantasy/horror series, Stranger Things. Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, Apple’s first TV shows for Apple Music, have been relatively modest efforts in terms of their size, scale, and talent; and they’ve also been met with lukewarm reception from viewers so far.

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iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Remain World’s Most Popular Smartphones https://www.idropnews.com/news/iphone-7-7-plus-remain-worlds-popular-smartphones/47324/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/iphone-7-7-plus-remain-worlds-popular-smartphones/47324/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:57:25 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47324 The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus retained their positions as the world’s most popular smartphones in 2017’s second quarter by a wide margin, according to new data published by research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple shipped an estimated 16.9 million iPhone 7 devices and 15.1 million iPhone 7 Plus devices in the second quarter, according […]

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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus retained their positions as the world’s most popular smartphones in 2017’s second quarter by a wide margin, according to new data published by research firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple shipped an estimated 16.9 million iPhone 7 devices and 15.1 million iPhone 7 Plus devices in the second quarter, according to Strategy Analytic’s newest Smartphone Model Tracker report. Cupertino’s two 2016 flagships ranked as the first and second most popular smartphones globally in the quarter, which represents the April through June period.

“iPhone 7 remained the world’s most popular smartphone model overall, due to a compelling blend of user-friendly design, extensive supporting apps, and widespread retail presence for the device,” Senior Analyst Juha Winter said in the report.

Third and fourth place in the quarter went to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ respectively, both of which were released earlier this year. Samsung shipped an estimated 10.2 million Galaxy S8 units and 9 million Galaxy S8+ units from April through June. “Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has instantly become the world’s most popular Android smartphone model,” said Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’s executive director.

In fifth place was Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi’s Redmi 4A smartphone, which shipped around 5.5 million units in the second quarter. The Redmi 4A is a budget handset, which presumably lends to its popularity in certain regions of the world — particularly the large markets of China and India.

During Apple’s impressive earnings call earlier this month, the company reported that it had sold 41 million iPhones. Though it did not break that number down by specific model, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the iPhone 7 remained Cupertino’s most popular handset. While Android is the most widely used mobile OS, Apple’s flagship popularity remains strong — which is especially notable because the iPhone 7 is technically nearing the end of its year-long product cycle.

Though it’s hard to tell how the iPhone 7’s successor will do, many analysts are expecting this year’s premium iPhone 8 flagship to meet strong demand and spur an “upgrade super-cycle” for Apple. If accurate, this year’s cycle could boost sales for Apple and bring the company one step closer to the $1 trillion valuation milestone.

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Google Will Pay $3 Billion to Remain Default iOS Search Engine https://www.idropnews.com/news/google-to-pay-3-billion-to-remain-ios-default-search-engine/47289/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/google-to-pay-3-billion-to-remain-ios-default-search-engine/47289/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:35:21 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47289 Google is slated to pay $3 billion to Apple to remain the default search engine for its mobile operating system this year, according to the estimates of financial analysts at Bernstein. That’s up from the $1 billion fee that the iPhone maker charged in 2014, as court documents revealed last year. “Court documents indicate that […]

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Google is slated to pay $3 billion to Apple to remain the default search engine for its mobile operating system this year, according to the estimates of financial analysts at Bernstein. That’s up from the $1 billion fee that the iPhone maker charged in 2014, as court documents revealed last year.

“Court documents indicate that Google paid Apple $1B in 2014, and we estimate that total Google payments to Apple in FY 17 may approach $3B,” Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. said, according to CNBC. “Given that Google payments are nearly all profit for Apple, Google alone may account for 5% of Apple’s total operating profits this year, and may account for 25% of total company OP growth over the last two years.”

The news is also a clear victory for Cupertino, given that the $3 billion payment is “nearly all profit for Apple”. Its burgeoning services business alone is estimated to have grown to the size of a Fortune 500 company in recent years.

On top of the payment, it’s possible that Google will share a portion of the advertising revenue it derives from Safari mobile with Apple, as it did in 2014, though this has not been confirmed. While Google is paying its rival a hefty sum, it makes sense in view of the fact that around half of Google’s mobile search revenue comes from iOS devices.

Remaining the default search engine on hundreds of millions Apple devices is important and lucrative, as evidenced in the case of the rivalry between Apple Maps and Google Maps. When Apple decided to switch from the lauded Google Maps service to its own in-house map app in 2012, the decision was derided, along with Apple Maps, which happened to be riddled with bugs. Over time, Apple engineers worked to fix the glitches until the app became serviceable enough for its users not to miss Google’s superior alternative. In 2015, Apple proudly reported that its mapping app was being used three times more often on its iPhones and iPads than Google Maps.

It’s reasonable to think that Google search is dominant and superior enough that iOS users will turn to it even if it isn’t the default option, as Sacconaghi notes. Nevertheless, it would be risky for Google to abandon the licensing deal given how much it stands to lose if Apple users decide to stick with a new default search engine.

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Apple Tightens Hong Kong Return Policies for a Good Reason https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-tightens-hong-kong-return-policies-good-reason/47246/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-tightens-hong-kong-return-policies-good-reason/47246/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:18:14 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47246 In an ostensibly bizarre, but nevertheless justified move, Apple on Tuesday updated its sales policy for product returns and exchanges in the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong. While the tweaked policy guidelines now dictate that “all Apple products” purchased either from Apple Stores or online via the company’s Hong Kong-based web storefront will be ineligible […]

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In an ostensibly bizarre, but nevertheless justified move, Apple on Tuesday updated its sales policy for product returns and exchanges in the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong. While the tweaked policy guidelines now dictate that “all Apple products” purchased either from Apple Stores or online via the company’s Hong Kong-based web storefront will be ineligible for return or exchange — indefinitely, effective August 15, 2017 — the company does note that it will pay special consideration to exchanges of defective products “at its sole discretion.”

Apple provided no reasoning for the abrupt change, however it’s worth noting that last year the company instated similar guidelines just ahead of the highly anticipated iPhone 7 debut. And so it’s likely that the rules have been tweaked as a precautionary measure ahead of this year’s game-changing iPhone 8 flagship.

But Why?

Unfortunately, due to the country’s lack of taxation and tariffs on imported goods, Hong Kong and its neighbor, mainland China, have become breeding grounds in recent years of a so-called ‘Black Market’ for in-demand gadgets and electronic devices, meaning that scalpers have become increasingly crafty in their efforts to smuggle popular products (i.e., the latest iPhone models) from Hong Kong into neighboring China, where they’re often sold at a substantial profit. Just take a look at this guy, shown in the photo below, who according to the South China Morning Post was found “walking strangely” across the border between Hong Kong and China back in 2015.

Last year, when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong, scalpers were scrambling to make a quick buck in the thriving Black Market, where the current flagship devices were sold for as much as 15,000 Hong Kong Dollars a pop (or about $1,900 USD).

As strict as it may seem, however, the modified policy will likely be temporary; and Apple will eventually revert to its original return/exchange guidelines sometime in the near future — though a timeframe has not yet been specified.

Either way, as far as Hong Kong-based Apple fanatics are concerned, the “new rules” are certainly nothing new, per se. Apple has for long held Hong Kong to slightly different return and exchange standards than the rest of the world — more than likely for the same reasons, too. For instance, Hong Kong customers looking to make volume purchases (totaling four items or more) are limited to a return and exchange window of just seven days instead of the standard 30 and a 25% restocking fee will apply.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Benchmark Leaks Reveal Powerful Specs https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/samsung-galaxy-note-8-benchmark-leaks-reveal-powerful-specs/47253/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/samsung-galaxy-note-8-benchmark-leaks-reveal-powerful-specs/47253/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:36:33 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47253 We’re a little over a week from the official announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. Of course, there’s not much about the phablet that we don’t already know. That’s especially true now, thanks to benchmark stats released today. Leaked benchmark stats for the soon-to-be-announced device were leaked to both AnTuTu and GFXBench this week, basically […]

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We’re a little over a week from the official announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. Of course, there’s not much about the phablet that we don’t already know. That’s especially true now, thanks to benchmark stats released today.

Leaked benchmark stats for the soon-to-be-announced device were leaked to both AnTuTu and GFXBench this week, basically revealing the last final unknown details about Samsung’s next phablet. And among upcoming Android releases, the Galaxy Note 8 is extremely impressive.

  • AnTuTu’s benchmark stats reveal that at least one version of the device will run on a Snapdragon 835 chipset with an Adreno 540 graphics processor.
  • The Galaxy Note 8’s dual cameras will reportedly be 12 and 8 megapixels, respectively.
  • Notably, it seems like the Note 8 will be the first Galaxy device with 8 gigabytes of RAM.
  • Additionally, the phablet will run on the latest Android Nougat 7.1.1 and will sport 64 GB of internal storage.

The GFXBench listening differs slightly, but not by much. Their benchmark stats list the same operating system and memory specs, but the chipset is Samsung’s own octa-core Exynos 8895 with a Mali-G71 GPU (though the U.S. Note 8 will run on a Snapdragon processor). The GFXBench stats also confirm that the display size is 6.4-inches.

Interestingly, the resolutions are also different. The AnTuTu benchmark lists 1080 x 2220, which is the default on Samsung flagships with adjustable resolutions. The GFXBench stats, on the other hand, seem to be set to the device’s maximum resolution: 1440 x 2960. Neither benchmark site posted information about the Galaxy 8’s battery capacity, although previous rumors suggested that it’ll sport a 3,300 mAh battery.

The Galaxy Note 8 is also expected to adopt a reduced-bezel design similar to the Galaxy S8 lineup. Additionally, the next Samsung phablet will come equipped with wireless charging, a stylus and a dual-camera module setup. The device is slated for an official unveiling next Wednesday.

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Apple Speaks out Against User Data Searches without Warrant https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-speaks-out-against-user-data-searches-without-warrant/47245/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-speaks-out-against-user-data-searches-without-warrant/47245/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:53:18 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47245 A slew of tech companies, Apple included, are speaking out against warrantless police searches in a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case. The case will likely turn out to be an important milestone and will decide on key privacy rights in the digital age. The bevy of tech giants filed an amicus brief in the case, […]

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A slew of tech companies, Apple included, are speaking out against warrantless police searches in a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case. The case will likely turn out to be an important milestone and will decide on key privacy rights in the digital age.

The bevy of tech giants filed an amicus brief in the case, Carpenter v. United States, late Monday night. In the brief, the tech companies argued for protecting personal user data from warrantless searches by law enforcement officials. Besides Apple, some of the firms listed in the brief include Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Mozilla, Twitter, Verizon, Dropbox, Airbnb and Snap, Inc.

Timothy Carpenter, the defendant in the case, was arrested in 2011 and convicted of robbery, the Chicago Tribune reported. Prior to his arrest, authorities were able to obtain significant amounts of location data from cell phone companies without a warrant — which is a normal occurrence during a police investigation. Carpenter later appealed his case, but an appellate court ruled that the Fourth Amendment — which protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable search and seizure — doesn’t apply to this kind of user data and that no warrant is required for police to obtain it.

The case is now set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Carpenter is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The companies, for their part, collectively urged the court to “refine the application of certain Fourth Amendment doctrines to ensure that the law realistically engages with Internet-based technologies and with people’s expectations of privacy in their digital data.”

Tech firms have an interest in protecting user data since many of their services and products rely on user trust and the perception that their products are secure. This is especially true as privacy advocates are increasingly placing pressure on tech companies to keep confidential data private. Apple has famously adopted a pro-user privacy stance, which culminated when it wrestled with the FBI last year. The Cupertino tech giant refused to create an iOS backdoor that would allow investigators to crack an iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Despite increasing efforts to compel Apple to do so, the Department of Justice later dropped its efforts when it found another way to break into the device.

Carpenter v. United States will likely turn out to be a landmark case when it comes to privacy rights in the digital age. Tech companies store an increasing amount of personal and private information — data that “the government needs a good reason to get its hand on it,” the ACLU wrote. More than anything else, the case cements the fact that privacy laws haven’t caught up with technological advancement, and as more and more of our data is entrusted with tech firms, it’s incredibly important that they do.

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iOS 11 App Icon Refresh Hints at Apple’s Future Advancements https://www.idropnews.com/news/ios-11-app-icon-refresh-hints-apples-future-advancements/47232/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/ios-11-app-icon-refresh-hints-apples-future-advancements/47232/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:47:29 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47232 Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 software update will usher in perhaps the most major overhaul since the release of iOS 7 back in 2013. At the core of iOS 11 will be the all-new, dramatically redesigned Control Center, as well as a myriad of app switching and advanced multi-tasking capabilities optimized for iPad. We’ll also get […]

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Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 software update will usher in perhaps the most major overhaul since the release of iOS 7 back in 2013. At the core of iOS 11 will be the all-new, dramatically redesigned Control Center, as well as a myriad of app switching and advanced multi-tasking capabilities optimized for iPad. We’ll also get a bounty of the usual UI tweaks and performance enhancements throughout the operating system, however according to Apple’s latest iOS 11 developer beta 6 release, there will also be a few subtler changes onboard — specifically, in relation to the design of some iOS 11 system app icons.

New App Store & Maps Icons

First up, we have the redesigned App Store icon, which for iOS 11 has done away with the pencil, ruler, paintbrush design of old, and has interestingly shifted to what appears to resemble popsicle sticks configured in the same ‘A’ shape as before.

The changes were first brought to light by iCulture, and while it may seem somewhat nonsensical for Apple to do away with the more meticulously designed pencil/ruler/paintbrush, it should be noted, according to NextWeb, that the new icon has apparently been designed to “look better at higher resolutions,” which may or may not hint that Apple’s iPhone will be bumping up the pixels this year. (Hint: We already know the iPhone 8 will.)

Next up, we have Apple’s Maps icon for iOS 11, which has been redesigned to reflect the company’s all-new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino. As you can see in the image below, the traditional intersection of Infinite Loop and the Interstate Highway 280 in Northern California has been replaced with a subtler design of the same freeway with the partial outline of a circular structure in the upper right-hand corner.

It’s not 100% guaranteed that this circular structure is intended to reflect Apple Park, however given the timing of iOS 11’s release in relation to both the design and grand-opening of Apple Park, it’s likely that Apple’s iOS team decided to make the switch to commemorate the opening of Cupertino’s 2.8 million square-foot “spaceship.”

Other Subtle Icon Changes

There are, of course, other app icons that have been redesigned ever-so-subtly in iOS 11, too. Although Maps and the App Store arguably lead the way in terms of their reconfiguration, Apple also made a few minor changes to app icons including Clock, making the numbers a bit thicker than they are in iOS 10, as well as to Safari, which introduces a change so subtle, you probably won’t even notice the difference! But it’s there, nevertheless, according to the wonderful world of Twitter.

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More Smart Connector Accessories to Come Despite Slow Rollout https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-smart-connector-accessories-coming-despite-slow-rollout/47202/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/apple-smart-connector-accessories-coming-despite-slow-rollout/47202/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:24:41 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47202 Apple recently confirmed that more accessories using the company’s proprietary Smart Connector are on the horizon. Notably, the scarcity of supported products has been a chief complaint about the fledgling port standard. An unnamed Apple spokesperson confirmed the news to Fast Company, stating that “multiple companies” are currently developing products with Smart Connector support, although […]

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Apple recently confirmed that more accessories using the company’s proprietary Smart Connector are on the horizon. Notably, the scarcity of supported products has been a chief complaint about the fledgling port standard.

An unnamed Apple spokesperson confirmed the news to Fast Company, stating that “multiple companies” are currently developing products with Smart Connector support, although no release timeline or specific manufacturers were named. As for the slow rollout of the port standard to more companies thus far, many accessory makers told the publication that the blame lies mostly with Apple itself.

First introduced in 2015 as a hassle-free port on the iPad Pro, the Smart Connector is now present on the entire iPad Pro lineup. But there are currently only four products that use the Apple-developed port. One is Apple’s own keyboard cover, two are Logitech-made keyboards, and the last is a Logitech docking station. Indeed, Apple has relied heavily on its partnership with Logitech to bring additional third-party Smart Connector accessories to market, and Apple is maintaining tight control over its port.

But that close partnership has apparently caused problems for other manufacturers. Accessory makers such as Incipio claim that Cupertino has been slow to issue testing standards and components to other companies. Executives at Incipio, however, backed off of those claims slightly — instead stating that they’re focusing on filling gaps in the market, rather than rushing to release a product. “They’re very cautious with what they do, and they to make sure they get it right,” Incipio’s Carlos Del Toro said of the Logitech-Apple partnership. “It’s one thing to develop with a partner that is custom, and another thing to develop a platform so that others can use it.”

Other manufacturers and sources reiterated to Fast Company that testing the Smart Connector port has been time- and cost-prohibitive. In one case, an unnamed source said that it took six months to get extremely expensive components from Apple. The Smart Connector’s faults are especially apparent when compared to the open source nature and ubiquity of Bluetooth. And while Apple’s port lets an accessory run on a device’s power supply, that advantage is becoming increasingly negligible due to Bluetooth’s increased energy efficiency.

Nicholas Smith, CEO of Brydge, also called the port “incredibly limiting.” Brydge manufactures an aluminum iPad keyboard with a 180-degree hinge that can basically turn the tablet into a clamshell-laptop. The Smart Connector’s fixed angle would make that current design impossible, Smith said — although he added that Smart Connector support could show up in future Brydge products “if the application is right.”

While the Smart Connector is currently available on all iPad Pro models, there have been rumors that the port standard could be added to future iPhones. According to one rumor, Smart Connector support would facilitate currently unknown augmented and virtual reality applications.

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Microsoft Surface Devices No Longer Recommended By Consumer Reports https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/microsoft-surface-devices-no-longer-recommended-consumer-reports/47193/ https://www.idropnews.com/news/fast-tech/microsoft-surface-devices-no-longer-recommended-consumer-reports/47193/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:46:30 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47193 Consumer Reports is a credible, reliable, and independent entity that provides would-be customers with balanced and unbiased reviews of today’s hottest new products, allowing those who may be ‘on the fence’ about plunking down big bucks on the gadget of their fascination to receive an assessment from those who’ve actually spent time with it first. The firm’s […]

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Consumer Reports is a credible, reliable, and independent entity that provides would-be customers with balanced and unbiased reviews of today’s hottest new products, allowing those who may be ‘on the fence’ about plunking down big bucks on the gadget of their fascination to receive an assessment from those who’ve actually spent time with it first. The firm’s insight can understandably weigh heavy on a consumer’s decision to buy a product; and unfortunately for Microsoft, whose latest round of Surface devices were once granted the firm’s coveted “recommendation” designation, due to “predicted reliability [of the Microsoft machines] compared to most other brands,” Consumer Reports has officially rescinded its approval of several Surface machines, according to a USA Today report.

According to the newspaper, Consumer Reports noted specifically that the reliability of four Microsoft machines — the new Surface Laptop in 128GB and 256GB variants, and the Surface Book in 128GB and 512GB configurations — compared so badly with other offerings on the market, the results were actually “worse, by statistically significant margins.”

The firm added that its decision to withdraw its previous recommendation was “based off the results of an annual subscriber survey about the products such people own and use.”

USA Today noted that the results of Consumer Reports’ survey concluded that “Microsoft’s laptops and tablets will experience breakage rates of 25% within two years of ownership” — which the survey defined as being the result of “any issue that comes up that prevents the computer from working as the owner expects.”

As a result of their findings, Consumer Reports has blasted out a memo indicating that it could no longer recommend “any of Microsoft’s Surface tablets or laptops” — including those with detachable keyboard covers, as well as those embodying more traditional, clamshell form-factors like the higher-end Surface Book. Likewise, Consumer Reports’ inability to recommend Microsoft devices applies to the all-new Surface Pro which launched earlier this summer.

Interestingly, this morning an internal memo surfaced from Microsoft’s corporate Vice President, Panos Panay, which appears to reconcile the PC-maker’s knowledge of issues with its latest Surface devices, while providing further insight into what it plans to do in the future: “It’s important for us to always learn more from our customers and how they view their ownership journey with our products. Feedback like this [from Consumer Reports] stings, but pushes us to obsess more about our customers,” the memo reads, a copy of which was obtained by Thurrott.

While the news certainly isn’t going to bode well with those in the market for a new PC at this time of year, such as college students and faculty, it’s nevertheless interesting to note that while Microsoft may have offered aesthetically pleasing products in its Surface line, Apple’s line of MacBook and MacBook Pro offerings will continue to be the most popular machines among customers. Though they may be a bit more expensive off-the-bat, Apple’s laptop computers are well worth the investment, boasting premium hardware, quality construction, a sleek design, and macOS — the most fluid, advanced, and all-around feature-rich operating system around.

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iOS 11 Developer Beta 6 Released with Bug Fixes, Design Changes https://www.idropnews.com/ios-11/ios-11-developer-beta-6-released-bug-fixes-design-changes/47191/ https://www.idropnews.com/ios-11/ios-11-developer-beta-6-released-bug-fixes-design-changes/47191/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:28:57 +0000 https://www.idropnews.com/?p=47191 Apple on Monday seeded the sixth iOS 11 beta to registered developers, just one week after releasing the previous developer beta. Like previous testing versions of iOS 11, beta 6 introduces a slew of bug fixes, under-the-hood improvements and subtle design tweaks. Changes Made in iOS 11 Dev. Beta 6 iOS 11 beta 6 introduces […]

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Apple on Monday seeded the sixth iOS 11 beta to registered developers, just one week after releasing the previous developer beta. Like previous testing versions of iOS 11, beta 6 introduces a slew of bug fixes, under-the-hood improvements and subtle design tweaks.

Changes Made in iOS 11 Dev. Beta 6

  • iOS 11 beta 6 introduces a fix for audio cessation when opening the App Store and a bug that caused the DirecTV app to crash when launched.
  • There are also bug fixes for Notes and Family Sharing, including an issue that prevented the Apple Pencil to be used on the former app.
  • Additionally, phone numbers will be displayed properly during a conference call.
  • There’s now a new icon for Maps and the App Store, including a new app tray icon in Messages for the latter app.
  • The Reminders icon now has its bullet points back on the left side rather than the right.
  • iOS 11 beta 6 also adds a new splash page for the Photos app, slightly bolder numbers in Clock, and a new AirPod animation.
  • The AirPlay indicator bar is also solidly blue when in use.
  • The Auto-Brightness toggle has been moved from Display & Brightness to Accessibility > Display Accommodations in the Settings app.

Despite the bug fixes, iOS 11 beta 6 also introduces some new known issues. Chief among them is a bug that will cause the Audiobus 3 app to crash upon launch. If you purchased an AT&T data plan on an iPad, there’s also a Settings bug that prevents cellular data numbers updating in General > About. The beta also removes several fish-themed Live wallpapers from the operating system.

iOS 11 beta 6 is currently available to developers via an over-the-air update provided that the proper configuration profile is installed on a device. Alternatively, the update is available from the Apple Developer portal. Presumably, the sixth developer beta will coincide with the fifth public testing beta, which is likely to be released sometime this week.

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