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Iphone

Florida Man Sues Apple For $10+ Billion, Says He Invented iPhone Before Apple (macrumors.com) 150

An anonymous reader writes from a report via MacRumors: A Florida resident that goes by the name of Thomas S. Ross has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, claiming that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod infringe upon his 1992 invention of a hand-drawn "Electronic Reading Device" (ERD). The court filing claims the plaintiff was "first to file a device so designed and aggregated," nearly 15 years before the first iPhone. MacRumors reports: "Between May 23, 1992 and September 10, 1992, Ross designed three hand-drawn technical drawings of the device, primarily consisting of flat rectangular panels with rounded corners that "embodied a fusion of design and function in a way that never existed prior to 1992." Ross applied for a utility patent to protect his invention in November 1992, but the application was declared abandoned in April 1995 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after he failed to pay the required application fees. He also filed to copyright his technical drawings with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2014. While the plaintiff claims that he continues to experience "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money," he has demanded a jury trial and is seeking restitution no less than $10 billion and a royalty of up to 1.5% on Apple's worldwide sales of infringing devices." MacRumors commenter Sunday Ironfoot suggests this story may be "The mother of all 'Florida Man' stories." Apple has been awarded a patent today that prohibits smartphone users from taking photos and videos at concerts, movies theaters and other events where people tend to ignore such restrictions.
Patents

Apple Patents a Way To Keep People From Filming At Concerts and Movie Theaters (qz.com) 245

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has patented a system that prohibits smartphone users from taking photos and videos at concerts, movie theaters and other events where people tend to ignore such restrictions. The patent has been award to Apple today and was first spotted by Patently Apple. QZ reports: "It outlines a system which would allow venues to use an infrared emitter to remotely disable the camera function on smartphones. According to the patent, infrared beams could be picked up by the camera, and interpreted by the smartphone as a command to block the user from taking any photos or videos of whatever they're seeing. The patent also outlines ways that infrared blasters could actually improve someone's experience at a venue. For example, the beams could be used to send information to museum-goers by pointing a smartphone camera at a blaster placed next to a piece of art." The report also mentions that the patent could in theory be used to help police limit smartphone filming of acts of brutality, or help a government shut off filming in certain locations. Last week, SlashGear reported that Alicia Keys is the latest musician to ban cellphones at her events.
Google

Google To Step Up Smartphone Wars With Release Of Own Handset (telegraph.co.uk) 122

According to a report by The Telegraph, Google is working on its first Google-branded smartphone, and plans to release it by the end of 2016. Unlike the Nexus program, in which Google mandates the design and specifications of the phone, but leaves the manufacturing aspect to its handpicked OEM, the new supposed phone will be built from the scratch by Google. From the report:The technology giant is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company's move into hardware, sources familiar with the discussions told The Telegraph. [...] The new device, which will be released by the end of the year according to a senior source, will see Google take more control over design, manufacturing and software.NYMag questions company's reported move:It's an unsurprising rumor to hear: Google CEO Sundar Pichai has publicly commented on the company's emphasis on phones, and Motorola's Rick Osterloh was hired earlier this year to head up a new hardware division. And there's also the much discussed Google Ara, a modular phone which lets you swap out pieces like a camera or speakers and is slated for release in 2017. But Google is already working with hardware companies like LG and Huawei on the Nexus line of phones, which are made to the company's exact design specifications but are manufactured by third parties. It's hard to see how Google could take more control over design or software than it already does with Nexus, and while the company is likely eager to move into the manufacturing space, the timeline for Ara hasn't changed, and it seems unlikely that this new mystery Google phone is going to jump in front and actually become available to the public by year's end.
AI

Apple Won't Collect Your Data For Its AI Services Unless You Let It (recode.net) 35

Apple doesn't like collecting your data. This is one of iPhone maker's biggest selling points. But this approach has arguably acted as a major roadblock for Apple in its AI and bots efforts. With iOS 10, the latest version of company's mobile operating system, Apple announced that it will begin collecting a range of new information as it seeks to make Siri and iPhone as well as other apps and services better at predicting the information its owner might want at a given time. Apple announced that it will be collecting data employing something called differential privacy. The company wasn't very clear at the event, which caused confusion among many as to what data Apple is exactly collecting. But now it is offering more explanation. Recode reports:As for what data is being collected, Apple says that differential privacy will initially be limited to four specific use cases: New words that users add to their local dictionaries, emojis typed by the user (so that Apple can suggest emoji replacements), deep links used inside apps (provided they are marked for public indexing) and lookup hints within notes. Apple will also continue to do a lot of its predictive work on the device, something it started with the proactive features in iOS 9. This work doesn't tap the cloud for analysis, nor is the data shared using differential privacy.Additionally, Recode adds that Apple hasn't yet begun collecting data, and it will ask for a user's consent before doing so. The company adds that it is not using a users' cloud-stored photos to power its image recognition feature.
Data Storage

SanDisk Made an iPhone Case With Built-In Storage (theverge.com) 48

An anonymous reader writes: SanDisk has made its iXpand Memory Case to alleviate the problem that Apple creates when they release an iPhone in 2016 with only 16GB of on-board storage. The iXpand Memory Case is an iPhone case with flash storage built directly into the case itself that connects/charges via the Lightning port. You won't need a new phone and you won't need to carry around an extra charging dongle, which is the case for many other third-party cases and accessories. Since Apple doesn't make expanding your storage with third-party devices easy, you will need to download/install the companion SanDisk iXpand Memory Case app on your iPhone, which will automatically back-up your camera roll and password-protect your photos and files. If you need some extra juice, you can spend an extra $40 to receive a 1900mAh battery pack that attaches to the case. The iXpand Memory Case is only available with the iPhone 6 and 6s and is available with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of extra flash storage for $59, $99, and $129, respectively. Oh, and of course there are varying color options: Red, Grey, Sky and Mint. Maybe your phone battery is running low (God-forbid it is dead) and you just so happen to be nearby a KFC in Delhi or Mumbai, KFC has you covered. They have introduced a meal box that doubles as a smartphone charger.
Google

Huawei Is Working On Its Own Mobile OS In Case Things Sour With Google (theinformation.com) 97

According to a report from The Information, Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer is working on its own mobile operating system (paywalled; alternate source). The report adds that the team that is developing this new operating system includes ex-Nokia employees. The new operating system is "meant as a contingency measure in case Google further tightens its grip on Android or stops offering it to smartphone makers." Additionally, Huawei is also putting efforts on making big changes to EMUI, its Android-based skin. From the report:According to The Information, changes could include the addition of an app drawer, redesigned icons (they're all currently iPhone-like rounded squares), and a new, "very clean, fresh" color palette. EMUI's current color scheme focuses on unusually dingy and muted colors -- grays and browns. Abigail Brody (an ex-Apple designer, which Apple hired last year) is reportedly planning to change these for brighter tones including blues and whites, and is looking to animals like jellyfish for inspiration.
IOS

Apple Says iOS Kernel Cache Left Unencrypted Intentionally, Nothing To Worry About (loopinsight.com) 120

The iOS 10 kernel, which Apple released to enthusiasts last week, is not encrypted, according to a report. Security experts expressed their surprise and puzzlement over this in a report by MIT News. The iPhone maker, after remaining tight-lipped over the matter for a week, has now offered an explanation. In a statement to The Loop, Apple said: The kernel cache doesn't contain any user info, and by unencrypting it we're able to optimize the operating system's performance without compromising security.It is worth mentioning that Apple is talking about kernel's cache, whereas MIT News' original report talks about kernel code.
Iphone

'Headphone Jacks Are the New Floppy Drives' (daringfireball.net) 767

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple's upcoming iPhone won't have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The news has already upset many people. The Verge's Nilay Patel wrote on Tuesday that the decision of getting rid of the legacy headphone port is "user hostile and stupid." Apple commentator John Gruber makes a case for why Apple's supposed move is not a bad idea at all. He writes:Patel misses the bigger problem. It's not enforcement of DRM on audio playback. It's enforcement of the MFi Program for certifying hardware that uses the Lightning port. Right now any headphone maker in the world can make any headphones they want for the standard jack. Not so with the Lightning port.He adds that the existing analog headphone jack "is more costly in terms of depth than thickness," and by getting rid of it, Apple could use the extra real estate to stuff in more battery juice. Addressing Patel's point that the move of ditching a deeply established standard will "disproportionately impact accessibility," Gruber adds that "enabling, open, and democratizing" have never been high on Apple's list of priorities for external ports. Gruber also addressed Patel's argument that introducing a Lightning Port-enabled headphone feature will make Android and iPhone headphones incompatible. He wrote: Why would Apple care about headphone compatibility with Android? If Apple gave two shits about port compatibility with Android, iPhones would have Micro-USB ports. In 1998 people used floppy drives extensively for sneaker-netting files between Macs and PCs. That didn't stop Apple from dropping it.As for "nobody is asking" Apple to remove headphone jack from the next iPhone, Gruber reminds: This is how it goes. If it weren't for Apple we'd probably still be using computers with VGA and serial ports. The essence of Apple is that they make design decisions "no one asked for".The 3.5mm headphone jack has been around for decades. We can either live with it forever, or try doing something better instead. History suggests that OEMs from across the world quickly replicate Apple's move. Just the idea of Apple removing the headphone jack -- the rumor of which first began last year -- arguably played an instrumental role in some smartphones shipping without the legacy port this year. If this is a change that we really need, Apple is perhaps the best company to set the tone for it. Though, whether we really need to get rid of the headphone jack remains debatable.
Encryption

Kernel of iOS 10 Preview Is Not Encrypted -- Nobody Knows Why (technologyreview.com) 82

Security experts are claiming that iOS 10 preview, which Apple made available to enthusiasts last week, is not secure. iOS 10 is the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. It will be available to standard customers later this year (likely around September). According to security experts, iOS 10's kernel is not encrypted. MIT News reports: Why Apple has suddenly opened up its code is unclear. One hypothesis in the security community is that, as author Jonathan Levin puts it, someone inside the company "screwed up royally." But he and security researcher Mathew Solnik both say there are reasons to think it may have been intentional. Encouraging more people to pore over the code could result in more bugs being disclosed to Apple so that it can fix them.
Businesses

LeBron James Used A Steve Jobs Speech To Motivate The Cavs To Victory (bgr.com) 97

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BGR: Well, LeBron James finally accomplished what he set out to do when he announced his triumphant return to the Cleveland Cavaliers 2014: he brought an NBA championship to Cleveland. Going into the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers were clear underdogs. And once the Cavs went down three games to one, the odds in Vegas that LeBron and co. could take back the series were as high as +900. Looking back at the Cavaliers' historic championship run and odds-defying victory, ESPN has a fascinating piece up detailing how LeBron sought to find every and anything that could help motivate his teammates and help them believe that an unprecedented comeback was indeed within the realm of possibility. And interestingly enough, one of the sources of inspiration James turned to was Steve Jobs. Specifically, James played portions of Steve Jobs' iconic 2005 Stanford University commencement speech to rally the troops ahead of game 3. "You can't connect the dots looking forward," Jobs passionately said, "you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." You can watch Jobs' aforementioned speech in its entirety here on YouTube.
Android

Taking the Headphone Jack Off Phones Is User-Hostile and Stupid (theverge.com) 595

A WSJ report on Tuesday claimed that the next iPhone won't have the 3.5mm headphone port. A handful of smartphones such as LeEco's Le 2, Le 2 Pro, and Le Max 2 that have launched this year already don't have a headphone jack. The Verge's Nilay Patel has an opinion piece in which he argues that smartphone companies shouldn't ditch headphone ports as it helps no consumer. He lists six reasons:
1. Digital audio means DRM audio :Restricting audio output to a purely digital connection means that music publishers and streaming companies can start to insist on digital copyright enforcement mechanisms. We moved our video systems to HDMI and got HDCP, remember? Copyright enforcement technology never stops piracy and always hurts the people who most rely on legal fair use, but you can bet the music industry is going to start cracking down on "unauthorized" playback and recording devices anyway.2. Wireless headphones and speakers are fine, not great.
3. Dongles are stupid, especially when they require other dongles.
4. Ditching a deeply established standard will disproportionately impact accessibility.:The headphone jack might be less good on some metrics than Lightning or USB-C audio, but it is spectacularly better than anything else in the world at being accessible, enabling, open, and democratizing. A change that will cost every iPhone user at least $29 extra for a dongle (or more for new headphones) is not a change designed to benefit everyone.5. Making Android and iPhone headphones incompatible is incredibly arrogant and stupid.
6. No one is asking for this.
Iphone

Apple Unlikely to Make Big Changes for Next iPhone 227

The next iPhone isn't going to look much different from the last year's iPhone 6s, or 2014's iPhone 6. According to a WSJ report (paywalled; alternate source), Apple will release two new iPhone models with screen sizes 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch, and both the models will look pretty much similar to the last two year's models. There won't be any 3.5mm headphone port in the new iPhone, though, the report adds. The Cupertino-based company plans to introduce major design changes in its next iPhone, using OLED display and eliminating the home button to use the display for fingerprint scanning. From the report: For years, Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has expressed a desire for the iPhone to appear like a single sheet of glass, according to people familiar with the matter. The current design ideas for the 2017 iPhones are expected to push the handsets in that direction by eliminating much of the bezel around the display, with the OLED screen.
Hardware Hacking

Big Tech Squashes New York's 'Right To Repair' Bill (huffingtonpost.com) 224

Damon Beres, writing for The Huffington Post: Major tech companies like Apple have trampled legislation that would have helped consumers and small businesses fix broken gadgets. New York state legislation that would have required manufacturers to provide information about how to repair devices like the iPhone failed to get a vote, ending any chance of passage this legislative session. Similar measures have met the same fate in Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and, yes, even previously in New York. Essentially, politicians never get to vote on so-called right to repair legislation because groups petitioning on behalf of the electronics industry gum up the proceedings. "We were disappointed that it wasn't brought to the floor, but we were successful in bringing more attention to the issue," New York state Sen. Phil Boyle (R), a sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post.
Communications

Apple Explains Why iMessage Isn't Coming To Android (networkworld.com) 157

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Network World: Ahead of Apple's WWDC keynote this year, one of the more bizarre and sketchy rumors we saw take shape claimed that Apple was planning to deliver iMessage to Android. As is typically the case, the rumor mill took this somewhat ridiculous rumor and ran with it. The only problem is that some people were so busy trying to figure out the ramifications of iMessage hitting Android that they didn't take a step back and try and figure out if this is something Apple would even contemplate in the first place. Remember, every move Apple makes is strategic and geared towards making more money, either via device sales or software. That being the case, iMessage on Android would not only be a free app, but it would also eliminate a user-experience advantage of iOS. Interestingly enough, Walt Mossberg of The Verge asked a senior Apple executive about the rumor whereupon the nameless executive all but indicated that iMessage will never be coming to Android. Walt Mossberg writes: "First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those device -- the company's classic (and successful) rationale for years."
China

Apple iPhones Found to Have Violated Chinese Rival's Patent (bloomberg.com) 130

Beijing's intellectual property regulator has ordered Apple to stop sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the city, after it found that the design of Apple's iconic smartphone is too similar to a Chinese phone. The aforementioned handsets infringe on a Chinese patent for exterior design held by a company called Shenzhen Baili for its 100C smartphone. From a Bloomberg report: While the decision covers only Beijing, future lawsuits against Apple could take the case as a precedent, potentially influencing the outcomes of litigation elsewhere in China. Baili is one of scores of smartphone brands trying to cash in on the country's mobile boom. [...] "If the position by the Beijing IP office is upheld and Apple doesn't appeal further, then in theory they wouldn't be able to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus," IP specialist Ted Chwu said. The iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus were launched in 2014. What took them so long?
Facebook

Facebook Adds SMS Support To Messenger (techcrunch.com) 60

Facebook Messenger already lets you send texts to your friends and other billion people on the social network, and also make voice calls and video calls. The social juggernaut is now also introducing support for SMS messages. The move comes a day after Apple introduced several new features to its Message app. Facebook Messenger used to have SMS functionality, but it was pulled in 2013 citing low usage. The feature is currently only available on Messenger for Android. TechCrunch reports: Users on any platform can receive SMS sent through Messenger, and they won't be able to tell it wasn't sent from a standard texting app. But since Apple doesn't provide as much flexibility for developers, iOS provides no option to change your SMS client, and there are no plans to bring this Facebook feature to the iPhone.In some other news, Facebook's move to retire messaging feature from its mobile website has irked Ubuntu Phone users.
IOS

Apple's Stock iOS Apps Land On App Store, Hints That It Could Allow People To Get Rid Of Them (techcrunch.com) 65

For years, people have expressed their desire to be able to remove apps such as Mail, Stocks, Compass, Calculator, Watch, and Weather among others that come preinstalled on their iPhone and iPad. Apple is finally making it possible, it appears. TechCrunch reports: Apple quietly published these apps to its iTunes website today (some are live now), but has not yet officially announced the change on stage at WWDC. Product Hunt spotted the Mail app in iTunes thanks to a tweet from Owen Williams, leading to speculation that Apple's other apps will be made available through the App Store, as well. As it turned out, they were.This was a big issue especially for those users who go for the 16GB variant of the iPhone or iPad, as it has limited storage capacity, and these apps would eat up a significant part of it. The company had previously commented on the issue, noting that these apps work in conjunction with the core of the operating system, so uncoupling them wasn't so easy. Update: 06/14 04:56 GMT by M : It is certainly happening.
IOS

Apple Announces iOS 10, watchOS 3, and new features for tvOS 86

Also at its annual developer conference, Apple announced major updates to its other platforms: Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, and Apple Watch. Starting with the Apple TV, the company announced that tvOS is getting a new feature called Live-Tune-In which uses Siri to allow users to simply state aloud what channel they want to watch. The company also announced a feature called Single sign-on, a cable networks feature which will let users sign-in to all their Apple TV accounts more efficiently and easily. There's a new TV Remote app for iPhone as well.

watchOS 3 comes with a range of new capabilities as well. Most importantly, it offers much faster app performance, thanks to something Apple calls Instant Launch. It does the job seven times faster than its counterpart in watchOS 2. The Verge reports about other changes: The updated interface includes Control Center, which is accessed via a swipe up from the bottom of the display. The side button has been remapped to launch the dock of recent and running apps instead of the contacts menu. Apple has also added a few new watch faces, including a Minnie Mouse version and new one that more prominently shows activity progress. Watch faces can be changed by swiping across the display. The Reminders and Find Friends apps have been redesigned, and third party apps can also now run in the dock area. The new Scribble feature lets you draw letters on the screen to type out words. It's similar to a feature recently announced for Android Wear.Coming to iPhone and iPad, they will be getting iOS 10 update later this year. One of its coolest feature lets one automatically download apps across all your devices. Apple has also improved its Continuity effort, allowing users to utilize Universal Clipboard. "Basically, snippets of text, hyperlinks, and the like that you copy on one iOS or macOS device will be available on all the others." There is another new feature called Raise to Wake, which wakes up your iPhone when it is lifted. 3D Touch feature has received some improvements, too. Siri now offers more contextual feedback, and it is likely to get even better as Apple has provided developers with SDK for Siri for the first time. The Verge reports: It makes intelligent suggestions based on your current location, calendar availability, contact information, recent addresses, and more. It's Siri growing more and more into the role of an AI or a bot. And yes, it's based on deep learning just like Google's rival system is.Apple Music has been redesigned from scratch, and Apple Maps and Messages are getting some nifty features, and they are also being opened to developers.
Cellphones

New York Thieves Wearing Apple Store T-Shirts Steal $16,000 In iPhones (pix11.com) 120

An anonymous reader quotes this article from a TV station in New York about a "brazen daylight heist" made possible by wearing the right t-shirt: Two thieves put on Apple store employee T-shirts and headed past the Genius Bar to the repair room, grabbed what they could and walked out with more than $16,000 worth of stolen iPhones... Police said just one hour before, the same thieves may have stolen three iPhones 6's worth $1,900 from the Apple Store on 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in the West Village... Earlier this year, three thieves pulled off two similar, but much more lucrative heists, at the Upper West Side Apple Store at Broadway and 67th Street, a training center for Apple employees. Once again, they dressed as Apple employees and stole a total of $49,000 worth of iPhones.
Government

NSA Couldn't Hack San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone; Now Working On Exploiting IoT (theintercept.com) 90

The FBI did turn to NSA when it was trying to hack into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, according to an NSA official. But to many's surprise, one of the world's most powerful intelligence agencies couldn't hack into that particular iPhone 5c model. "We don't do every phone, every variation of phone," said Richard Ledgett, the NSA's deputy director. "If we don't have a bad guy who's using it, we don't do that." According to Ledgett, apparently the agency has to prioritize its resources and thus it doesn't know how to get into every popular gadget. According to the report, the agency is now looking to exploit Internet of Things, including biomedical devices. The Intercept reports: Biomedical devices could be a new source of information for the NSA's data hoards -- "maybe a niche kind of thing ... a tool in the toolbox," he said, though he added that there are easier ways to keep track of overseas terrorists and foreign intelligence agents. When asked if the entire scope of the Internet of Things -- billions of interconnected devices -- would be "a security nightmare or a signals intelligence bonanza," he replied, "Both."

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