The Morning After: Wednesday, December 6th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Wednesday, where the line between phones and PCs is blurrier than ever, and we’re entering a new round of Google vs. Amazon.


Thanks to mobile CPUs.‘Always Connected’ Windows 10 PCs have 20 hours of battery life

Late last year, Microsoft announced plans to make Windows 10 work on ARM CPUs — usually used in phones and tablets — and now we’ve seen the first real devices. The HP Envy x2 and the ASUS NovaGo both have Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chips inside, but run all your usual Windows programs. The best part is that, just like phones, they’re instantly on and promise incredible battery life. Plus, AMD is getting in on the trick.


Ooops.How not to store your bitcoin

Some finicky software, a broken laptop and the skyrocketing value of bitcoin combine to make for one epic tale.


Here we go again.Google is blocking YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show and Fire TV

Amazon only recently brought YouTube back to its Echo Show, and now Google says it will block the company’s devices again. Google is ticked off because Amazon isn’t selling some of its hardware or making Prime Video work with Cast, putting the two at odds.We’ll see who blinks first (or ever).


Yes, we know you would rather use microSD.Samsung’s 512GB chip will put PC-like storage in your phone

So many podcasts.


Choose whatever carrier you like.Apple’s iPhone X is available unlocked and SIM-free in the US

If you’re paying $ 1,000 or more for a new handset, you should be able to choose your network at will, and now you can.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Marvel is making a scripted ‘Wolverine’ podcast for Stitcher
  • HQ’s live trivia is coming to Android in time for the holidays
  • The iPhone 8 goes up against the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
  • Netflix cuts ties with Danny Masterson following rape allegations
  • Honor squeezed more screen into its budget View 10 flagship

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The best Black Friday deals 2017 (Updated)

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

Amazon Echo 2nd Generation

Street Price: $ 100; Deal Price: $ 80

The first sale we’ve seen on the upgraded model of the Echo.The 2nd Generation Amazon Echo is our pick in our guide to the best Alexa-compatible smart-home devices for Amazon Echo. We wrote, “An Amazon Echo offers a convenient interface for your smart home and provides functionality that an app on your phone can’t. If you already have some Alexa-compatible devices or one of the three major smart-home hubs (SmartThings, Wink, or Insteon), adding an Echo can make accessing those devices more interesting and convenient.”

Playstation VR Skyrim Bundle

Street Price: $ 450; Deal Price: $ 335

This bundle was $ 450 until recently, game still goes for $ 60 & while street price of VR gear is falling, street is no lower than $ 400.

The Playstation VR is an “also great” pick in our guide to the best VR headsets for PC and PS4. We wrote, “Sony’s PlayStation VR headset can’t track you quite as well as the competition can, but it’s good enough to provide a fun, solid virtual reality gaming experience.”

TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE450

Street Price: $ 90; Deal Price: $ 60

A big $ 30 drop and the best price we’ve seen all year.

The TP-Link RE450 is the top pick in our wi-fi range extender guide. We wrote, “On our two long-range wireless tests (one line-of-sight, and one with walls and other objects between the extender and our test laptop), it gave us excellent performance. And because it’s an AC1750 extender, it supports the fastest wireless speeds of our favorite router and any device you’re likely to own.”

Anker PowerCore 20100

Street Price: $ 40; Deal Price: $ 32

The best price we’ve seen on a charger that can charge multiple phones at once.

The Anker PowerCore 20100 is our pick for more power in our best USB battery packs and power banks guide. We wrote, “With 74 Wh (20,000 mAh) of capacity, this Anker pack can charge your smartphone every day for a weeklong work trip or keep two devices charged for a long weekend away.”

iPad Pro 10.5-Inch (64GB)

Street Price: $ 650; Deal Price: $ 525

Matches low we’ve seen on this tablet pick in the 64GB size.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is our upgrade pick in our guide to the best tablet. We wrote, “Only slightly bigger than the standard iPad but considerably faster, the Pro has a larger, better screen, better cameras, and support for Apple’s Pencil. It’s better than the standard model for creating, multitasking, and gaming.”

Samsung Gear VR with Controller

Street Price: $ 130; Deal Price: $ 90

The updated, Note 8 friendly version of one of our picks, with its first discount.

The Samsung Gear VR is the runner-up pick in our phone VR headsets guide. We wrote, “The Gear VR has both the most and the most mature apps in the category. It also has better specs, meaning more-serious gamers should consider this headset.”

Motorola Moto G5 Plus 32GB

Street Price: $ 220; Deal Price: $ 170

A new low on our favorite cheap Android phone.

The G5 Plus is the top pick in our guide to the best budget Android phones. We wrote, “Excellent performance and build quality compared with other budget phones. Its interface is clean with no bloatware, and it works on all major US carriers.”

Corsair K70 LUX RGB w/ red switches

Street Price: $ 150; Deal Price: $ 110

The lowest price we’ve seen on a mechanical keyboard we like.

The Corsair K70 LUX RGB is our full-size gaming pick in our review of our favorite mechanical keyboards. We wrote, “If you want a full-size gaming keyboard with media keys and Cherry switches, the best option is the Corsair K70 LUX RGB Mechanical Gaming keyboard. It’s available with Cherry MX Brown, MX Blue, MX Red, and MX Speed switches. Though the K70 LUX was one of the more expensive full-size gaming boards we tested, it was still the favorite of our panel testers because of its superior build quality and handy media keys.”

Philips Hue Single A19 Bulbs

Street Price: $ 50; Deal Price: $ 32

By far the best price we’ve seen on individual bulbs from the Hue line. These hit a new low of $ 40 a few days ago, and today, they’re down even further.

The Philips Hue A19 bulbs are our pick for the best smart LED light bulbs. We wrote, “The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 – Gen 3 are the best all-around smart bulbs you can buy. The Hue bulbs do everything their competitors do, but their wider product and app ecosystem allows for more flexibility and creativity than any other smart bulb.”

Sonos Playbar

Street Price: $ 700; Deal Price: $ 600

A new low on our top pick for best soundbar. We wrote, “The Playbar sounds fantastic and is easier to set up and operate than any other soundbar we’ve tested.”

Sonos Play:1 Speaker

Street Price: $ 200; Deal Price: $ 150

This matches the lowest price we’ve seen on our top multiroom wireless speaker system. We wrote, “The Play:1 sounds great on its own and is an affordable entry point to the Sonos system. A pair in stereo mode sounds even better.”

Garmin Vívosport Smart Activity Tracker

Street Price: $ 200; Deal Price: $ 150

A new low for our top activity tracker pick.

The Vívosport is our pick for the best fitness tracker. We wrote, “The Garmin Vívosport nails all the capabilities of a well-rounded fitness tracker by combining an always-visible color display, responsive auto-activity detection with GPS, up-to-seven-day battery life, and accurate continuous heart-rate readings in a wrist-worn band that’s waterproof for swimming.”

Roku Streaming Stick+

Street Price: $ 70; Deal Price: $ 48

A new low on our upcoming top media streamer pick. We wrote, “The Roku Streaming Stick+ costs more than the similar Streaming Stick, but it’s worth the slight premium because it’s more future proof. It supports the latest 4K, HDR10, WCG video formats and Dolby Atmos for audio. Its redesigned antenna also improves its Wi-Fi reception. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same as the cheaper model, which is a good thing.”

Google Home Speaker

Street Price: $ 120; Deal Price: $ 80

A good price on a smart speaker for those committed to the Google ecosystem, usually over $ 120. We wrote, “Google’s wireless speaker, digital assistant, and smart-home controller looks better than its biggest competition, reliably responds to most voice queries, offers solid multiroom audio, and sounds pretty good.”

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Turntable + Mackie CR3

Street Price: $ 330; Deal Price: $ 244 with code DIGTURKEY5

Use code DIGTURKEY5 to get this duo of top picks for a great price.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is our pick in our guide to the best turntable for casual listening. We wrote, “The Audio-Technica is highly adjustable, has a built-in phono preamp for hassle-free setup, sounds great out of the box, offers above-average adjustment flexibility, and has a built-in USB port that makes it easy to digitize your LP collection.” The Mackie CR3 speakers are our top pick computer speakers. We wrote, “There are better-sounding speakers that cost more, and cheaper speakers that sound decent, but these have the right blend of sound quality and user-friendliness.”

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS Headphones

Street Price: $ 70; Deal Price: $ 39

A big drop on these noise-canceling earbuds.

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS are the budget pick in our guide to the best noise-cancelling earbuds. We wrote, “If the Bose QuietControl 30 is out of your price range but you still want Bluetooth, the Phiaton BT 100 NC is a solid alternative. This pair doesn’t offer as much noise cancelling as the QC30, but it still provides a reasonable amount while costing around 30 percent of the price of the Bose model. This model can also connect via analog, so if the battery dies you can still listen to music.”

Denon AVRS730H Receiver

Street Price: $ 450; Deal Price: $ 350

The first big drop we’ve seen on our new receiver pick.

The Denon AVRS730H is our pick in our guide to the best receiver. We wrote, “The Denon AVR-S730H offers easy setup, good room correction, and supports streaming from a wide number of online music services.”

Samsung Gear IconX Earbuds

Street Price: $ 200; Deal Price: $ 150

The first discount we’ve seen on this pair of earbuds.

The Samsung Gear IconX earbuds are the Android/Samsung pick in our true wireless guide. We wrote, “Offers decent sound, probably on a par with that of $ 70 corded in-ear headphones. The fit is comfortable and secure for most ear types. Touch-sensitive volume, track, and voice-command controls mean you don’t have to press the earbud uncomfortably and awkwardly into your ear as you make adjustments.”

Celestron NexStar 5 SE Telescope

Street Price: $ 700; Deal Price: $ 600

A nice deal matching the previous low on our best telescope pick. We wrote, “It has a primary 5-inch mirror, which is big enough for a light-gathering capacity that yields crisp images of some of the best objects in our solar system, from Saturn’s rings to Jupiter’s cloud bands, and provides sufficient power to introduce you to objects in the deep sky.”

(Updated 12:40p ET)

Grenco Science G Pen Elite Vaporizer

Street Price: $ 150; Deal Price: $ 85

As long as you don’t mind waiting for this backordered deal, this is the best price we’ve seen on on our pick in our best portable vaporizer guide. Use code BFCM5 for an additional 5% off.

We wrote, “The Elite has features you rarely see in the under-$ 200 price category, like combination convection and conduction heating, a digital display for battery life and precision temperature control.”

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit

Street Price: $ 100; Deal Price: $ 80

Includes dimmer switch, bridge and pico remote, and at $ 80, it’s the best price we’ve seen.

The Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit includes our pick in our best in-wall wireless light switch and dimmer guide. We wrote, “The Lutron Caséta Wireless In-Wall Dimmer is a reliable smart replacement that provides remote on-off, dimming, and scheduling, similar to its competition. However, the single-pole dimmer offers support for more smart-home platforms, including HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home, than any model we tested.”

Anker 10ft PowerLine Lightning Cable

Street Price: $ 12; Deal Price: $ 10

New low on our longest recommended Anker cable (white model only).

The Anker 10ft PowerLine Lightning Cable is our “also great” pick for longest Anker cable in our best lightning cable guide. We wrote, “Long cables can also be useful, especially when you want to use your iPhone or iPad while it’s charging but the nearest outlet is a good distance away. In our tests, the charging and data-transfer speeds of these longer PowerLines match those of the 3-foot version.”

Garmin Dash Cam 65W

Street Price: $ 250; Deal Price: $ 230

This is the lowest price we’ve seen on our upgrade pick in our best dash cam guide.

We wrote, “It’s the smallest model we tested, so it’s less prominent on the windshield, and it uses a magnetic mount (though it attaches to the windshield via an adhesive pad) that makes it simple to pop on and off. The 65W offers 1080p resolution and a 180-degree field of view that covers a wide area—great for scenic vistas—but makes cars in front look a little farther away.”

ELAC Debut B6 Speakers

Street Price: $ 280; Deal Price: $ 200

A rare drop, we see this discount about once a year.

The ELAC Debut B6 is our runner-up pick in our best bookshelf speakers guide. We wrote, “The value and quality of the ELAC Debut B6 speakers come as no surprise. This set was veteran speaker designer Andrew Jones’s first project since leaving Pioneer for ELAC, and Jones clearly brought along the lessons he learned from making $ 30,000 speakers.”

(Updated 2:36pm ET)

Samsung 500 GB T5 Portable SSD

Street Price: $ 200; Deal Price: $ 170

While not a huge discount, this is the best price we’ve seen on our pick in our best portable SSD guide.

We wrote, “The 500 GB Samsung T5 Portable SSD is the best portable solid-state drive for most people because it’s reliable, fast, reasonably priced—for an external SSD—and compact.”

TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE450

Street Price: $ 90; Deal Price: $ 60

A big $ 30 drop and the best price we’ve seen all year.

The TP-Link RE450 Wi-Fi Range Extender is our pick in our best wi-fi range extender guide. We wrote, “The TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE450 is the best wireless extender for most people because it offers incredible performance at long range and supports the fastest wireless speeds of most devices you’re likely to own, even if you have a MacBook Pro.”

Refurbished Kindle Voyage

Street Price: $ 150; Deal Price: $ 120

The best price we’ve seen if you’ve been considering this upgraded Kindle.

The Kindle Voyage is our upgrade pick in our best ebook reader guide. We wrote, “The Kindle Voyage adds features that aim to make it a luxury reading experience, including a side light that adjusts brightness automatically, buttons on the side of the screen that you can squeeze to turn pages, a micro-etched glass front that further reduces reflections, and a smaller, slimmer body.”

Epson 2040 Projector

Street Price: $ 700; Deal Price: $ 550

Lowest price this year at $ 550 but trends show it might drop lower in the coming weeks.

The Epson 2040 Projector is our LCD option in our best $ 1,000 projector guide. We wrote, “The BenQ uses DLP technology, which creates artifacts known as “rainbows.” Most people don’t notice or aren’t bothered by them, but some people do and are. The Epson 2040 is based on LCD technology, so it won’t create rainbows.”

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Street Price: $ 175; Deal Price: $ 150

A good drop on our top outdoor security camera, available at a number of retailers.

The Nest Cam Outdoor is our pick in our best wireless outdoor home security camera guide. We wrote, “The Nest Cam Outdoor Wi-Fi camera does everything a DIY surveillance camera should, and tops the others we tested in convenience features. The camera provides 1080p video, two-way audio, and a mounting system that gives you the capability to point it in any direction. It also has the only weatherproof cord among the units we tested.”

AncestryDNA

Street Price: $ 90; Deal Price: $ 59

At $ 59, this marks the best price we’ve seen on our DNA testing kit by $ 20.

AncestryDNA is our pick in our best DNA ancestry testing kit guide. We wrote, “AncestryDNA is our pick for those who want to learn about their relatively recent ethnic roots or are seeking to connect with unknown relatives. Though all of the DNA services we tested provided broadly similar results for the ethnic origins of our panel of testers, AncestryDNA did a better job than its rivals of presenting this data in a clear manner while placing the information in a useful historical context.”

(Updated 5:07pm ET)

EcoVacs Deebot N79

Street Price: $ 200; Deal Price: $ 150

A new low on our top pick in our guide to the best robot vacuum. We wrote, “The Deebot N79 is nimble enough to navigate through most homes without getting stuck very often—and that’s what really makes most bot-owners happy. Its battery life is the longest we’ve seen, it runs the quietest, and it has one of the better control schemes we’ve seen for the price—including Wi-Fi and a smartphone app.”

BenQ GW2765HT 27″ Monitor

Street Price: $ 330; Deal Price: $ 220

A new low price on our budget pick 27-inch monitor. We wrote, “If you want a big, beautiful display with a good stand but don’t need USB ports, DisplayPort daisy-chaining, or a thin bezel, we recommend the BenQ GW2765HT. At under $ 350, it’s one of the least expensive 27-inch IPS monitors that still has good display quality and features.”

Sony UBP-X800

Street Price: $ 300; Deal Price: $ 150

Matches a low we saw briefly only once before. This is a huge drop below street price on our top pick 4k Blu-ray player. We wrote, “This Sony plays 4K UHD discs, offers better image quality with Blu-rays and DVDs, and includes good streaming options and excellent speed.”

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

Street Price: $ 150; Deal Price: $ 140

With SSD deals as rare as they have been the past year, while not a huge discount, this is one of the better prices in ages. The Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD is the top pick in our guide to the best SSDs. We wrote, “Even after two years as our top pick, the Samsung 850 Evo remains the gold standard for SATA SSDs thanks to its high speed, low price, five-year warranty, and great software.”

Sony XBR-X900E 55-Inch TV

Street Price: $ 1,200; Deal Price: $ 1,000

A substantial $ 200 drop on our improved HDR TV pick. We wrote, “If you want a TV in 49-inch or 75-inch sizes, watch almost exclusively HDR content, or need a 120 Hz panel because you’re sensitive to motion blur, the Sony XBR-X900E is a great buy.”

Vizio SB3821-D6 SmartCast 38″ 2.1 Sound Bar System

Street Price: $ 130; Deal Price: $ 90

A big $ 40 drop on this pick, making improved sound a very affordable $ 90. The Vizio SB3821-D6 is the “tighter budget” pick in our budget soundbars guide. We wrote, “This 2.1 soundbar lacks its bigger sibling’s HDMI (ARC) support and rear speakers, but it still delivers better stereo performance than much more expensive rivals and supports Bluetooth and Google Cast.”

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What to expect for Black Friday 2017

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

Black Friday’s coming up fast and we’re already seeing a lot of deals going live, so here’s what we expect:

  • Get that shopping list ready soon. Your favorite deal, the one that says it’ll go live on Friday? There’s a decent chance it’ll be available earlier. We’ve already seen some of the most interesting deals going live early, a fair few from Best Buy jumping the gun a week ago to beat other retailers.
  • That TV/instant pot/whatever you wanted sold out already? Don’t buy your backup option just yet. Not only have we seen some great deals go live already, but we’ve seen sold out products pop back in stock. It’s not uncommon for retailers to put up great deals on Black Friday and once they sell out for the day, put up additional stock on Cyber Monday.
  • Update your billing and shipping info. This is the most boring part of shopping, but you’ll be really aggravated with yourself if you do grab that one thing you wanted and it sells out because you had to update all of your info.

Here are some Black Friday deals we’re seeing pop up already:

Logitech Harmony Companion

Street price: $ 130; deal price: $ 100

This particular model has been bouncing between $ 130 and $ 140 a lot, so this recent drop to $ 100 is a welcome discount.

The Logitech Harmony Companion is our upgrade pick in our universal remote control guide. We wrote, “More elaborate and a little harder to set up, the Harmony Companion doesn’t require line-of-sight to your gear, is able to control Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, and can even run your smart home.”

KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers

Street price: $ 550; deal price: $ 249.98

A huge drop on our previous upgrade pair of bookshelf speakers.

The KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers is our previous upgrade pick in our best bookshelf speaker guide. They’re not our current pick, but they’re still a fantastic deal.

Fire HD 10

Street price: $ 150; deal price: $ 100

A huge drop and the first discount we’ve seen on the new and improved HD 10. The 10 is quite similar to the 8, and with this price, makes it much more interesting as a media consumption tablet.

The Fire HD 10 is the larger version of the 8, which is our budget pick in our tablet guide. We wrote, “The 2017 Fire HD 8 is slower, has a lower-resolution screen, and is more limited than the ZenPad, but it’s a great cheap tablet for media consumption, especially for Amazon content.”

Samsung Qi Certified Fast Charge Wireless Charger

Street price: $ 35; deal price: $ 24

A welcome discount on on a newly released Qi charger, this deal is only on this particular color.

The Fast Charge is a faster version of our pick in our best Qi wireless charger guide. We wrote, “In our testing, it fully charged our iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 about 15 minutes faster than our top pick.”

Razer DeathAdder Elite

Street price: $ 60; deal price: $ 50

Matching the best price we’ve seen on our gaming mouse pick.

The Razer DeathAdder Elite is our pick in our best gaming mouse guide. We wrote, “It’s comfortable for a wide range of hand sizes and grips, has seven easy-to-reach buttons and an accurate sensor, and has a simple, effective design.”

Because great deals happen more than once a week, sign up for our daily deals email and we’ll send you the best deals we find every weekday.

Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

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The iPhone 10 years in: Everything that’s changed from 2007 to 2017

Few times of the year are as thrilling for gadget buffs as an Apple launch event, and tomorrow the company is expected to pull back the curtain on a trio of new iPhones. While some incredibly specific leaks this weekend might have spoiled the surprise, there’s no denying just how important the iPhone is to Apple’s business; Apple is the most valuable company in the world thanks mostly to this product line. With new iPhones upon us, we thought we’d take a look back at Apple’s history in smartphones to remind ourselves how they’ve matured into the market-leading machines they are now.

iPhone (2007)

Smartphones have essentially looked like glass-and-metal slabs for years now, so it’s easy to forget how distinct the original iPhone looked. Remember, 2007 was the year the BlackBerry Curve debuted to rave reviews, and people were thrilled about the dual-sliding powerhouse that was Nokia’s N95. Suffice to say, the iPhone was nothing like them. It was a device with a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, a rounded aluminum body, a plastic butt and very few actual buttons to speak of. At the time, you could pick up a model with either 4GB or 8GB of internal storage for $ 499 and $ 599, respectively. Considering most phones in the US were sold on-contract, the iPhones were much more expensive than its competitors, and Apple later tried to address this by dropping the 4GB model altogether and making the 8GB model $ 399.

Apple’s engineering prowess meant the phone was as well-built a smartphone as you could get at the time, and that aesthetic would soon drive other OEMs to embrace multi-touch displays. Still, some of the original iPhone’s design and engineering features were pretty questionable. Remember the recessed headphone jack? The one that required people to use an adapter with existing headphones they liked, or use the lousy pack-in earbuds? Yeah, not great. What’s more, the cellular radio inside the phone only supported Cingular’s EDGE data network, and not its newer, faster 3G network. Steve Jobs defended the decision by claiming that those early 3G-capable chipsets were bigger, with a tendency to drain a phone’s battery.

Where the iPhone really shined was its software. Even in its infancy, iOS felt remarkably different from any other smartphone OS. Its early, WebKit-based browser was a joy to use compared to the alternatives found on other devices, and the way the phone allowed for multi-touch gestures effectively changed the way people expected to interact with their smartphones. That’s not to say the software was perfect: It couldn’t connect to most corporate email servers, which meant business users got burned. And that seemingly lovely virtual keyboard? You had to make sure you didn’t accidentally type too fast because it could only recognize one finger tap at a time. The iPhone didn’t have the ability to send rich MMS messages either, so sending pictures to friends only ever worked through email, or unofficial apps available to jailbroken iPhones.

The original iPhone remains an icon in the annals of computing history, but there was much more to come.

iPhone 3G (2008)

After the first iPhone launched, Apple pursued progress on two fronts: It had to build a second-gen phone, and also make sure people could get more done with it. In March 2008, nine months after the first iPhone went on sale, Apple released a software development kit, while a prominent Silicon Valley VC firm announced a $ 100 million fund to help spur iPhone software development. Four months after that, the iPhone 3G debuted with iOS 2.0 and the App Store, which only contained around 500 apps at launch. While users were pleased with the prospect of squeezing new features out of their new phones, one of the most notable changes about this new phone was how it looked.

With the 3G, Apple ditched its original, mostly aluminum chassis in favor of glossy polycarbonate. The 3G was available in black and white, and both versions could be had with either 8GB or 16GB of storage. While that change in materials was meant to improve signal strength and reception, the polycarbonate shells were prone to cracking, particularly around the 30-pin dock connector. The iPhone 3G’s modified curvature was more comfortable to hold, but it also meant all those docks that came with the original iPhone were essentially junk. Otherwise, the phone’s key features, including its screen and camera, remained the same.

Apple gave the phone its name for a reason, though: The addition of a 3G radio meant AT&T customers could finally use the carrier’s higher-speed data network. This paved the way for snappier browsing, not to mention the ability to talk and browse at the same time. The 3G also included a GPS radio, though it was still fairly limited; while it could locate you with help from a cell tower triangulation scheme, it would be a while before the first apps with true turn-by-turn navigation appeared.

Although Apple and its carrier partner sold the original iPhones at full price, the 3G was the first to be sold with contract subsidies — remember the days when signing two years of your life away meant hefty discounts? In this case, the 8GB 3G sold for $ 199 and the 16GB model went for $ 299, both dramatic drops that helped spur mass iPhone adoption.


iPhone 1st-gen iPhone 3G
Pricing $ 499, $ 599 (on contract) $ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
Dimensions 115 x 61 x 11.6mm (4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches) 115 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches)
Weight 135g (4.8 ounces) 133g (4.7 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 480 x 320 (163ppi)
Screen type 18-bit LCD 18-bit LCD
Battery 1,400 mAh 1,150 mAh
Storage 4 / 8GB (16GB released 2008) 8 / 16GB
Rear camera 2MP 2MP
Front-facing cam None None
Video capture None None
GPS None Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.0 v2.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900 GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0098 Apple APL0098
CPU 412MHz 412MHz
GPU PowerVR MBX Lite 3D PowerVR MBX Lite 3D
RAM 128MB 128MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g
Operating system iPhone OS 1.0 iPhone OS 2.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 3GS (2009)

One year later and the iPhone 3G was back, more or less. Apple announced the new iPhone 3GS in June 2009, where marPhil Schiller casually mentioned the “S” stood for “speed” — he wasn’t kidding, either. The iPhone’s fundamental performance hadn’t changed in two years, so when the 3GS showed up with an updated processor and double the RAM of its predecessors, it ran roughly twice as fast. That improved performance was great to have, but it didn’t change the fact that the iPhone 3GS looked exactly like its predecessor. As you might’ve guessed from the name, this is the phone that inaugurated Apple’s “tick-tock” update schedule. ne year you’d get new features wrapped in a new design; the next, a phone with the same phone with the same body but with better performance.

Performance isn’t the only improvement, though. Among the biggest additions were an improved 3-megapixel camera with autofocus that could finally shoot video, and, err, a compass. Software additions like VoiceOver (which read on-screen elements as you dragged your finger over them) helped make the iPhone a more suitable device for the visually impaired, but the rest of the improvements were modest. Consider the 3GS’s 3.5-inch screen: It ran at the same resolution, but Apple fitted it with an oleophobic coating to help prevent the display from getting too smudgy. Bluetooth performance also improved slightly, and the battery got a minor bump in capacity to help the phone cruise on 3G networks for a little longer. There’s no doubting that the 3GS was a solid phone for the times, but since many purchased the iPhone 3G with a two-year contract, the 3GS could be easily skipped.


iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (on contract) $ 199, $ 299 (new customers on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (existing customers on contract)
Dimensions 115 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches) 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches)
Weight 133g (4.7 ounces) 135g (4.8 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 480 x 320 (163ppi)
Screen type 18-bit LCD 24-bit LCD
Battery 1,150 mAh 1,220 mAh
Storage 8 / 16GB 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2010)
Rear camera 2MP 3MP
Front-facing cam None None
Video capture None VGA (640 x 480) at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.0 v2.1
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0098 Apple APL0298
CPU 412MHz 600MHz
GPU PowerVR MBX Lite 3D PowerVR SGX535
RAM 128MB 256MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g
Operating system iPhone OS 2.0 iPhone OS 3.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 4 (2010)

While the iPhone 3GS was busy racking up sales, Apple was working on a radical iPhone redesign behind closed doors. Then some guy lost a prototype in a bar, and the internet exploded as the leak of a lifetime gave us our first look at Apple’s vision. Up until 2010, iPhones were known for their contoured plastic shells, but no more. The iPhone 4 was covered with flat glass on both the front and back, separated by a stainless steel band that ran around the phone and acted as its antenna. The aesthetic was a stunning departure from earlier iPhones, but Apple’s design had a serious flaw: Holding the phone just right (or wrong) would cause cellular coverage to plummet. Welcome to Antennagate.

Apple remedied the issue by offering free bumpers and cases to iPhone 4 owners, but critics had a field day with the company’s massive blunder. Though Antennagate’s cultural pervasiveness was difficult to avoid (“you’re holding it wrong” became a catchphrase unto itself) the iPhone 4 still offered several major improvements to the long-standing iPhone formula. In fact, the most important was impossible to miss: Though Steve Jobs might have overstated exactly how crisp it was, the iPhone 4’s 960 x 540 Retina display was essentially unmatched in clarity. It didn’t just blow away older iPhones, the screen blew away all other phones, period.

To this point, iPhones never had particularly great cameras, but the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel rear shooter was the best Apple had made to date (it helped that our prayers for a LED flash were answered). Apple also saw fit to include the iPhone’s first front-facing camera, a must for vain selfies and the new FaceTime feature built into iOS 4.

The new A4 chipset (the first mobile processor Apple designed itself) with 512MB of RAM was another huge step over its predecessor, and this jump in performance was absolutely necessary. The launch of iOS 4 also meant the introduction of true multitasking on an iPhone; even after all these years, it’s still surprising that it took Apple as long as it did to cook up a solution that worked. A quick double-tap of the home button would bring up your running apps, and that was that. The updated iOS also added folders for better app management and finally let people leave audio running the background while they used other apps. While the iPhone 4 was the most powerful smartphone Apple had built up to that date, it almost paradoxically had better battery life than before thanks to a more capacious cell stuck inside.

Other new inclusions were more subtle, like a second microphone for improved noise cancellation and a gyroscope that allowed for (among other things) more precise motion controls in games and apps. Apple stuck with the standard 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage variants, and they only came in black at first; it took time for Apple to ensure the white finish offered enough UV protection, so white iPhone 4s weren’t available until April 2011. Color choices may have been limited, but at least carrier choice wasn’t. After years of AT&T exclusivity, the 4 was the first iPhone available on a carrier other than AT&T — in this case, Verizon.


iPhone 3GS iPhone 4
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (new customers on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (existing customers on contract)
$ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches) 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches)
Weight 135g (4.8 ounces) 137g (4.8 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 960 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type 24-bit LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,220 mAh 1,420 mAh
Storage 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2010) 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2011)
Rear camera 3MP 5MP
Front-facing cam None 0.3MP
Video capture VGA (640 x 480) at 30fps 720p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.1 v2.1
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0298 Apple A4
CPU 600MHz 800MHz
GPU PowerVR SGX535 PowerVR SGX535
RAM 256MB 512MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Operating system iPhone OS 3.0 iOS 4
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector


iPhone 4s (2011)

Apple’s press fete for the iPhone 4S was unlike any other — for one, it was the first hosted by then-new CEO Tim Cook, a supply chain whiz picked by Jobs to take over. (Jobs, sadly, died the day after the announcement.) It was also one of the first iPhone announcements that really seemed to disappoint some, thanks to endless rumors about a thinner, redesigned iPhone 5 coming in 2011. While that sleeker, slimmer iPhone was still a year off, the iPhone 4S offered up plenty of helpful and notable updates.

The iPhone 4’s A4 chipset gave way to the dual-core A5 (first used in the iPad 2), which kept the same 512MB of RAM but still made for a nearly two-fold improvement in general performance. Meanwhile, the rear camera was bumped to eight megapixels and gained the ability to record 1080p video. To help store those larger files, Apple introduced a new 64GB storage tier alongside the standard 16GB and 32GB options. And while Apple recycled the iPhone 4’s design, it used the CDMA version of the device as a template for the 4S; its improved antenna setup eliminated lingering Antennagate concerns.

The iPhone 4S launched with iOS 5 on board, making it the first new iPhone to pack support for Apple’s new iCloud storage system and iMessage’s now-ubiquitous blue bubbles. We can’t talk about the 4S without talking about Siri, though. Originally a voice assistant app spun out from research at SRI International, Siri came to the iPhone 4S by way of a multimillion dollar acquisition before its creators could build versions of the app for rival platforms. At launch, users could ask it to make calls, create reminders, interact with calendars and more, all with conversational language instead of specific commands. Siri felt novel and capable in ways other apps at the time didn’t, but it would take time before Apple’s first digital assistant became more than just an interesting gimmick.


iPhone 4 iPhone 4S
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches) 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches)
Weight 137g (4.8 ounces) 140g (4.9 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 960 x 640 (326ppi) 960 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,420 mAh 1,430mAh
Storage 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2011) 16 / 32 / 64GB (8GB released 2012)
Rear camera 5MP 8MP, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 0.3MP 0.3MP
Video capture 720p at 30fps 1080p
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.1 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A: 800, 1900
SoC Apple A4 Apple A5
CPU 800MHz 1 GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX535 PowerVR SGX543MP2
RAM 512MB 512MB
WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Operating system iOS 4 iOS 5
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 5 (2012)

When the iPhone 5 was revealed in 2012, people got the design overhaul they were waiting for. Apple traded stainless steel for aluminum and shaved nearly two millimeters off the existing iPhone 4S design. The end result: the thinnest, sleekest and arguably most beautiful iPhone to date. More importantly, Apple finally saw fit to pack a taller, 4-inch Retina display into the iPhone 5, a move meant to counter the rapidly growing screens found in popular Android devices. Building a bigger, thinner iPhone came at a cost, though: Apple ditched its classic, 30-pin connector in favor of the reversible Lightning connector. The decision meant generations of existing iPhone docks and accessories became obsolete almost instantly, but the world eventually moved on.

Also new to the iPhone 5 was Apple’s dual-core A6 chipset and 1GB of RAM — double the amount of memory found in the iPhone 4 and 4S. As usual, the new phone generally exhibited performance that was around twice as fast as the previous model, and in certain benchmarks, we saw even bigger performance gains. The iPhone 5’s camera didn’t change dramatically along the way, but its 8-megapixel sensor was swathed in sapphire crystal rather than glass for extra protection. Thanks to the A6’s increased horsepower, the camera was noticeably quicker too — photo capture speeds were faster than in earlier iPhones. And speaking of speed, Apple built an LTE radio into the iPhone 5, making it the first to support the next generation of high-speed wireless data networks.

The iPhone 5 was a big step forward in terms of design, but changes on the software side weren’t as dramatic. iOS 6 officially went live just days before the iPhone 5 went on sale, making the 5 the first new iPhone to support digital tickets in Passbook and the new, oft-maligned Apple Maps. A handy Do Not Disturb mode was also added to the fold, as well as the ability to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections and native Facebook integration. All told, it felt like Apple was going back and ticking software feature requests off a checklist, but that makes sense — the company was working on a big redesign behind the scenes.


iPhone 4S iPhone 5
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches) 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches)
Weight 140g (4.9 ounces) 112g (3.95 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 4 inches (101.6mm)
Screen resolution 960 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,430mAh 1,440mAh
Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB (8GB released 2012) 16 / 32 / 64GB
Rear camera 8MP, f/2.4 8MP iSight, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 0.3MP 1.2MP
Video capture 1080p 1080p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A: 800, 1900
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 3, 13, 25
SoC Apple A5 Apple A6
CPU 1 GHz 1.3 GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP2 PowerVR SGX543MP3
RAM 512MB 1GB
WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating system iOS 5 iOS 6
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector


iPhone 5s (2013)

As usual, Apple largely left the iPhone 5’s design alone when it built the iPhone 5s in 2013. Its home button looked a little different though — it lost the trademark squircle and gained a shiny metal ring instead. That signified the inclusion of Touch ID, Apple’s first fingerprint sensor, for unlocking the phone and authenticating iTunes purchases. Oh, and it was hard to miss the new gold and slate gray color options, the first changes to Apple’s hardware palette since white iPhones hit the scene years earlier.

The rest of the 5s’s hardware changes are harder to see: The faster A7 chipset inside was the first 64-bit sliver of silicon in an Apple smartphone, and next to it was a new motion coprocessor called the M7 to help manage data from the phone’s myriad sensors. The 8-megapixel camera was updated with larger pixels and a larger aperture, too, though people were more likely to notice how the camera could record video slow-motion footage at up to 120 frames per second.

The iPhone 5s’s software, meanwhile, looked hardly anything like the versions that came before it. iOS 7 traded Apple’s classic skeuomorphic design elements for a flatter, cleaner aesthetic that persists to this day. Beyond that, iOS 7 saw the addition quick settings shortcuts in the Control Center, as well as a revamped Notification Center and AirDrop for rapidly off-loading files from iOS devices.

iPhone 5c (2013)

When Apple launched the iPhone 5c alongside the 5s, it effectively drove a nail into the iPhone 5’s coffin. Reports suggested that Apple whipped up this model to keep costs down — the colorful polycarbonate bodies were less expensive to manufacture at scale than carefully chamfered aluminum.

Aside from this major cosmetic change, the 5c is essentially the same phone as the standard 5, from the A6 chipset to the screen. The camera assembly was tweaked somewhat and the 5c supported more LTE bands, but the real reasons to own this phone were its modest price tag and its five color options. Popular perception of the 5c was that it was a flop, but it went on to sell more than 24 million units in its time on the market. It wasn’t quite the loser people expected, and it’s not hard to see how the 5c influenced devices like the iPhone SE.


iPhone 5 iPhone 5S iPhone 5C
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 99, $ 199 (on contract)
$ 549, $ 649 (off contract)
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97mm (4.9 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 112g (3.95 ounces) 112g (3.95 ounces) 132g (4.66 ounces)
Screen size 4 inches (101.6mm) 4 inches (101.6mm) 4 inches (101.6mm)
Screen resolution 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,440mAh 1,560mAh 1,510mAh
Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2014)
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.4 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 1.2MP 1.2MP 1.2MP
Video capture 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes
NFC None None None
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 3, 13, 25
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A6 Apple A7 Apple A6
CPU 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.3 GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP3 PowerVR G6430 PowerVR SGX543MP3
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating system iOS 6 iOS 7 iOS 7
Ports

iPhone 6/Plus (2014)

Beset by the popularity of big Android phones, Apple launched two new, larger iPhones in September 2014: the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The former featured a 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750 resolution, while the super-sized Plus model instead used a 5.5-inch screen running at 1080p. Apple aficionados had long suspected the company would split its most important product line up like this, and many welcomed the seemingly overdue change. Unsurprisingly, the smaller of the two iPhones was easier to hold and use for long periods of time — the larger Plus model could be difficult to grip compared to its big-screened contemporaries.

The design modifications didn’t end there, either. If the iPhone 5-series looked like sleek slabs, the 6 and 6 Plus were rounder and friendlier in a way that evoked Apple’s first phones. Since both devices were notably longer than the iPhones that came before them, Apple moved the power button to the devices’ right edges for easier access and trimmed a few fractions of a millimeter to make both versions of the iPhone 6 slimmer than the iPhone 5s. Apple’s focus on crafting trim bodies took its toll, though: Both versions of the phone were supposedly susceptible to bending under pressure. Apple only received a handful of reports about bent units in the wild, but no matter: Bendgate became a thing regardless.

Inside, both devices were nearly identical. Each sported improved A8 chipsets and 1GB of RAM, and Apple chose this year to drop the 32GB storage option in favor of a more spacious mid-range choice. While the most basic iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still came with 16GB of storage, customers could step into 64GB and 128GB for $ 100 and $ 200 extra, respectively. Naturally, both phones shipped with iOS 8, which added third-party keyboard support, cross-platform features like Continuity and a handful of new health-focused features. With so much crossover when it came to performance and software, most would-be iPhone owners made their choice based on size.

Of course, that isn’t to say that size is the only area where these phones differed. Both phones packed updated 8-megapixel rear cameras, but only the Plus’s shooter came with optical image stabilization (another first for iPhones). And while both phones used what Apple called “Retina HD” displays, the higher pixel density found on the bigger display meant text and images appeared crisper.


iPhone 5S iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off-contract)
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 112g (3.95 ounces) 129g (4.55 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces)
Screen size 4 inches (101.6mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,560mAh 1,810mAh 2,750mAh
Storage 16 / 32/ 64GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP iSight, f/2.2
Front-facing cam 1.2MP 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2
Video capture 1080p at 30fps 1080p 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes
NFC None Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A7 Apple A8 Apple A9
CPU 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR G6430 PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600
RAM 1GB 1GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 7 iOS 8 iOS 9
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector


iPhone 6s/Plus (2015)

By the time the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus rolled around in 2015, Apple’s tick-tock update cadence was well understood. It was no surprise, then, that both would use the improved A9 chipset with 2GB of RAM and look exactly like the models that came before them. Thankfully, Apple didn’t just carry over the original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bodies — the 6s and 6s Plus were reinforced to prevent the possibility of bending under pressure (it definitely didn’t need another Bendgate-level debacle to deal with). This was also the year Apple added rose gold to its list of standard phone finishes, and we haven’t been able to escape it since.

Apple also ditched its stockpile of 8-megapixel sensors and instead built 12-megapixel cameras into the 6s and 6s Plus. The added resolution was a welcome touch, and so was the ability to record video in 4K — after all, Android phones had been able to shoot at this super-high quality for some time. Also new to the photographic fold: Live Photos, which sprung to life as you swiped through your camera roll. The marquee feature this time was 3D Touch, which took advantage of the 6s’s new pressure-sensitive screens to offer users shortcuts and context with a forceful press. In its early days, the feature didn’t always feel that useful, but seeing a company implement a novel new way for us to interact with our smartphones without too many hiccups was impressive nonetheless.

As was often the case with S-series iPhones, software provided much of the excitement. The 6s and 6s Plus shipped with iOS 9 onboard, and with it came a smarter, more contextually aware version of Siri and a whole new portal for Apple’s News. Search was dramatically improved too, as it could peer directly into apps installed on the 6s and 6s Plus, and Apple’s Maps finally started to understand how the subway worked. While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were huge sellers, the 6s and 6s Plus were proof that biennial refreshes didn’t need to be dull.

iPhone SE (2015)

Apple faced a bit of a conundrum after launching two bigger smartphones — what would it do for people who still liked compact devices? The answer was straightforward: The company essentially took the guts of the iPhone 6s and squeezed them into an iPhone 5s’s body.

That didn’t sound like it would work very well, but to our surprise, the iPhone SE was a remarkably capable little machine for small phone fans. The A9 provided excellent performance, and battery life was generally impressive, but our biggest gripe had to do with the limited storage options available at launch. Originally, Apple produced the SEs with either 16 or 64GB of internal storage; It has since shifted to selling 32GB and 128GB models instead.


iPhone 6 iPhone 6S iPhone 6 Plus iPhone 6S Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
Dimensions 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches) 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 129g (4.55 ounces) 143g (5.04 ounces) 172g (6.07 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces)
Screen size 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,810mAh 1,715mAh 2,750mAh 2,750mAh
Storage 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2
Front camera 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2
Video capture 1080p 4K at 30fps 1080p 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.2 v4.0 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A8 Apple A9 Apple A8 Apple A9
CPU 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600
RAM 1GB 2GB 1GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 8 iOS 9 iOS 8 iOS 9
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector

iPhone 7/Plus (2016)

Well, this was unexpected. Up until 2016, Apple had only ever kept the same design for two generations of smartphones. With the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple once again kept the iPhone 6’s design language alive, albeit with several few tweaks.

Where to start? Well, neither version of the 7 featured a headphone jack, a move Apple’s Phil Schiller hilariously chalked up to “courage” during the company’s press conference. The physical home button was also replaced with a capacitive button that haptically vibrated when pressed. IP67 water and dust resistance was added, too — a first for iPhones, though Android devices had touted superior water resistance for years. Oh, and Apple added a Product (RED) model and a glossy, Jet Black finish option to its roster. That’s a lot of updates, and that doesn’t even factor in the changes in performance. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus used Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset, a quad-core affair paired with either 2 or 3GB of RAM.

As always, the 7 and 7 Plus were more alike than not, and the most notable difference between the two was in their cameras. The 7 got a perfectly respectable 12-megapixel rear camera with a quad-LED flash and optical image stabilization — quite an upgrade over the prior year’s shooter. The 7 Plus, meanwhile, was fitted with a more impressive dual-camera array that allowed users to optically zoom in and out and add bokeh to the background of a photo in a Portrait Mode released later. This, along with a bigger battery and the inclusion of a little extra RAM, made the larger iPhone a more compelling option than it had ever been before.


iPhone 6S iPhone 7 iPhone 6S Plus iPhone 7 Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
Dimensions 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 143g (5.04 ounces) 138g (4.87 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces) 188g (6.63 ounces)
Screen size 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,715mAh 1,960mAh 2,750mAh 2,900mAh
Storage 16 / 64 / 128GB 32 / 128 / 256GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 32 / 128 / 256GB
Rear camera 12MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP, f/1.8 12MP iSight, f/2.2, 1.22µm pixel size Dual cameras, 12MP, f/1.8 and f/2.8
Front camera 5MP, f/2.2 7MP, f/2.2 5MP, f/2.2 7MP, f/2.2
Video capture 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.2 v4.2 v4.2 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
​​​​​​​(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
​​​​​​​(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A9 Apple A10 Fusion Apple A9 Apple A10 Fusion
CPU 1.8GHz dual-core 2.34GHz quad-core 1.8GHz dual-core 2.34GHz quad-core
GPU PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR Series 7XT GT7600 Plus PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR Series 7XT GT7600 Plus
RAM 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 9 iOS 10 iOS 9 iOS 10
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector Lightning connector

Image credits: Justin14 (iPhone 3G render); Apple.

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The Morning After: Friday, September 1st 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to September! As news continues to flow from IFA 2017, we’re already looking ahead as Apple just announced the date for its big iPhone event. Still, don’t miss that new live-action Destiny 2 trailer or SanDisk’s 400GB microSD card.


Mark your calendar.Apple will unveil the next iPhone on September 12th

As usual, after a long summer, the iPhone rumor cycle has peaked, and now it’s time to find out what’s going on at Apple. The company has invited us to its new spaceship campus on September 12th, where we’re expecting to see not only updated versions of the iPhone 7 but also an anniversary-edition iPhone 8, with a new edge-to-edge OLED screen design. Besides the phones, we’re still waiting to find out more about its HomePod speaker, a possible 4K-ready version of its Apple TV box, plus release info for macOS, watchOS and iOS updates. It could be a long day.


Better than Bose’s QC35?Sony made its best headphones even better

The WH-1000XM2 improves on its predecessor with better battery life (up to 30 hours with noise cancellation and Bluetooth on) plus a Quick Charge mode that gives you up to an hour of playback after charging for ten minutes. Plus, this set will debut at a lower price than the old ones did, at $ 350.


‘Surround sound for the eyes.’Philips’ Hue lights will sync with movies, games and music

To celebrate its fifth birthday, Philips confirmed that the Hue Lights kit would soon allow owners to synchronize their lights to all kinds of content. The Hue Entertainment upgrade will make its smart lights work more like its other product, Ambilight. Now, owners can get the effect without an add-on LED strip and just manage with the company’s WiFi-connected smart light bulbs.


2017.Capcom to re-release $ 100 ‘Street Fighter II’ SNES cartridges

Believe it or not, you can pre-order a brand new SNES game right now. For $ 100, Capcom and iam8bit will sell you a working copy of Street Fighter II (that may or may not set your SNES on fire, who can say?) complete with special packaging and other goodies. The 5,500 limited-edition run has its benefits, but we should note — GameStop has the original version on sale for $ 10, and this isn’t even SFII Turbo.


It’s Force Friday II.Meet Sphero’s new ‘Star Wars’ toys

Sphero just announced it’s expanding its connected-toy universe with two more Star Wars droids, R2-D2 and BB-9E. Both are now on sale, so check out our hands-on impressions of the cutesy robots and either keep your credit card handy or hide it somewhere very hard to reach — your call.


We heard you like Nathan Fillion.We wish ‘Destiny 2’ looked as good as this live-action trailer

We’re just a few days away from the launch of Destiny 2 (on consoles), so Bungie has released a new live-action trailer to make sure the fans are hyped up. It worked on us.


Rise to the challenge.Lenovo’s first augmented-reality glasses are a ‘Star Wars’ exclusive

The Lenovo Mirage is available for pre-order and will put augmented reality on your face, with one small catch — there’s only one game so far. Of course, that one game is based on Star Wars, bringing an incredible simulation of a lightsaber duel (thanks to the included hilt and tracking beacon) and even Holochess, so maybe it’s worth the $ 199 price?

But wait, there’s more…

  • Tesla’s Hyperloop pusher pod sets 220MPH speed record
  • Tesla drops the price of its most expensive EVs
  • Nintendo ordered to pay $ 10 million in Wii patent lawsuit
  • House cancels net neutrality hearing after companies don’t commit
  • SanDisk crams 400GB into a microSD card
  • BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition first look: more of the same

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The Morning After: July 4th, 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Happy Independence Day! After everyone else sets off fireworks today, Elon Musk and the crew at SpaceX will turn attention to their next rocket launch on the 5th or 6th. But, of course, the big news is Tesla’s Model 3, and we even have a new iPhone rumor.


It’s happening.Tesla will deliver the first 30 Model 3s on July 28th

Over the years, Tesla hasn’t always delivered vehicles on time. Recently, problems with building its 100kWh battery packs hampered Tesla’s deliveries, but those issues appear to be resolved, and CEO Elon Musk says the Model 3 is almost here. In fact, there will be a “handover party” for the first 30 sedans on July 28th, and Musk is promising 20,000 cars per month by December.


A long time coming.The (re)making of ‘Crash Bandicoot’

Three years ago, Sony promised gamers another trip to N.Sanity Beach, and last week it delivered. We took a peek behind the scenes with developer Vicarious Visions as team members explained their love for the game, and how they tried to stay true to Naughty Dog’s original vision throughout the myriad changes. Bonus: Check out exclusive footage from an early version of the iconic first level from 2015.


One of these makes sense.Two video-game-turned-TV shows debut this week

Netflix is getting ready to release season one of its animated Castlevania series, but the other game coming to TV is more of a surprise: Candy Crush. The Mario Lopez-hosted game show will premiere on CBS Sunday night.


Goodbye, TouchID?The next iPhone reportedly scans your face instead of your finger

The latest iPhone 8 rumors suggest that Apple is having trouble slipping a fingerprint scanner underneath the new phone’s OLED screen. As a result, it may rely on 3D facial recognition instead of TouchID for password-less unlocking


Running late.Windows 10’s ‘Timeline’ feature won’t arrive this fall

We were expecting to see Microsoft’s new Timeline feature in the next big Windows 10 update, but a tweet from VP Joe Belfiore reveals that is not to be. It’s not cancelled, but users can expect to see it first via Insider beta builds after the Fall Creators Update drops.

But wait, there’s more…

  • What we’re using in July: Google WiFi
  • ‘Baby Driver’ is an ode to iPod nostalgia
  • SpaceX’s capsule ‘re-flight’ is a space travel milestone

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The Morning After: Thursday, June 22nd 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Thursday morning. We’re reliving the ’90s through, as Sega launches a selection of classic hits both with ads and without. We’re also talking Instagram and its stealth shills, and new emoji. We hope you like fairies.


It should focus less on surprise and more on delight.Apple’s paranoia about leaks is misplaced

Apple’s inability to keep its secrets is so bad that even its internal presentation about confidentiality leaked. It reportedly conducted an hour-long briefing titled “Stopping Leakers — Keeping Confidential at Apple” for about 100 employees to make sure they understood the importance of not leaking information. But that concern is misplaced: Clamping down on leaks won’t help Apple’s bottom line.


The games are free, but you can pay $ 2 to drop the advertisementsSega Forever makes Genesis classics free on mobile

The Sega Forever collection is five titles meant to begin “a retro revolution that will transport players back through two decades of console gaming.” Starting today, the 1991 version of Sonic the Hedgehog, fan-favorite RPG Phantasy Star II, classic arcade-style beat ’em up Comix Zone, platformer Kid Chameleon and Greek mythology-themed beat ’em up Altered Beast will be available on Google Play and iTunes as free ad-supported games.


Can Travis Kalanick’s resignation fix Uber?Uber’s future is still tied to its founder

Uber’s disruptive effect on the taxi business, went hand in hand with throwing out the rulebook. Some of the rules avoided, however, included strict background checks on drivers, and safety laws to ensure that drivers didn’t work for too long, according to Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, who sits as chairperson of the company’s board. He said the team “failed to build some of the systems that every company needs to scale successfully.” Those systems included restrictions on employees sexually harassing their colleagues and preventing engineers from developing tools to hinder law enforcement investigations. Following Travis Kalanick’s resignation, can Uber change enough?


Your next set of emoji includes zombies, vampires, fairies and dinosaurs. The latest emoji update is a playful one

Finally, the monocle emoji.


A new tool could make hidden ads more obvious — if shills use it.Instagram gives social media influencers the benefit of the doubt

social media platform. The “Paid partnership with [enter brand name here]” post format is designed for users who want to advertise products on their page, letting them easily disclose when one of their posts is an ad. Instagram says this is an effort to bring the platform some much-needed transparency. The feature is set to roll out in the coming weeks to a “small number” of creators and businesses, according to the company. The question remains: Will influencers actually use the feature? And what will happen if they don’t?


The monsters caught with cheating tools may not behave normally.‘Pokémon Go’ will flag creatures caught using cheats

Niantic has decided that forcing Pokémon Go cheaters to a life of catching Pidgeys isn’t quite enough punishment. Now, any Pokémon caught using “third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay” will be marked with a slash in people’s inventories and “may not behave as expected.”

But wait, there’s more…

  • Airbus imagines a faster helicopter with wings
  • Google gets closer to building its own city in San Jose
  • Lenovo’s pro workstation is as light as a MacBook Air
  • An iPhone is your only option on Virgin Mobile
  • Self-driving shuttles are coming to U of M this fall
  • Todoist ‘Twist’ is supposed to be better than email, less annoying than Slack

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The Morning After: Friday, June 9th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

As this week wraps up we’re getting you ready for E3, and digging into Boston Dynamics’ new owner. Plus: A peek inside the new iMac.


The Japanese company has a ‘vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics.’Softbank buys Boston Dynamics (and its robots) from Google

It’s been over a year since Google’s parent company Alphabet said it wanted to sell its robotics company Boston Dynamics, and now it has a buyer: Softbank. The Japanese company has been working on its own robots for years, including the helpful Pepper, and now they’ll be under the same umbrella as Handle, Big Dog, Atlas, WildCat and all the rest.


So many leaks that the company put out their own images.OnePlus shows off the OnePlus 5 – at an intentionally specific angle

It’s only been two days since OnePlus announced the June 20th launch date for its upcoming OnePlus 5 flagship phone, but it didn’t take long before leaks started to appear. With that dual camera, LED flash, antenna bands and shade of gray, commenters were quick to point out the heavy resemblance between this device and the iPhone 7 Plus, which is presumably why OnePlus decided to post the above image to make a point. Indeed, from this angle, the OnePlus 5 appears to feature a unique outline running from the side to the top. But, well, besides that, it still looks a lot like an iPhone.


It’s not done yetNASA’s Mars 2020 concept is perfect for Space Batman

NASA showed off a futuristic-looking concept of the Mars 2020 rover with a shiny black body and intimidating wheels at the Kennedy Space Center. If you think that it looks like it popped right out of a superhero movie or a video game than an actual vehicle meant to explore the red planet, then you’re right.


The ultimate GoProGoPro finally shows its all-in-one 360-degree shooter.

The first action camera from GoPro made for shooting 360-degree video is this Fusion. It has a 5.2K resolution but is still only a shade larger than the Hero5 Black. Despite this early preview, key facts like how much it will cost are still unknown.


Throw-and-go aerial selfie revolution isn’t quite here just yet.Flying the DJI Spark drone by waving your hand isn’t as great as it sounds

James Trew has been waving his arms at drones for the last few weeks. No, his brain hasn’t finally broken — he was testing out the DJI Spark. The drone, which can be controlled by gestures. may have an innovative new control method, but James believes it’s not quite the spontaneous, simple experience it needs to be for new drone owners.


But it isn’t easy and it will void your warrantyIt is technically possible to replace the RAM and CPU in a new iMac

While we tested what it’s like to use one of Apple’s newest all-in-ones, iFixit took their usual route of pulling one apart to see what’s inside. They found CPU and RAM that aren’t soldered to the motherboard which is a good thing for upgrades and repairs, but there’s just one small catch. Accessing them requires removing the screen and voiding your warranty.


And new ‘collaborative gameplay’ is on the way‘Pokemon Go’ anniversary celebration includes big IRL events

We’re coming up on one year since the launch of Pokemon Go, and after some ups and downs, it’s time to celebrate. The game’s developers are planning events worldwide as well as in game. More importantly, they also mentioned that gyms will shut down temporarily while they work on some new “collaborative gameplay” features that could bring head to head battles into the app.


It’s all CG, but it’s a start.‘Life is Strange’ studio’s ‘Vampyr’ arrives this November

The makers of Life is Strange, Don’t Nod, has decided to go full-tilt fantasy on its new game, Vampyr. A new trailer shows more of the studio’s supernatural take on 1918 London and confirms a November release date on PS4, PC and Xbox One.The new teaser, however, doesn’t reveal much in the way of gameplay, only showing pre-rendered footage of people lurking moodily in dark places. With the developers promising players a semi-open world, fast-paced combat, and an environment where every in-game action carries a consequence, it’s all sounding rather ambitious.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Those awkward AirPods will automatically link up to your Apple TV
  • Oppo’s 4K Blu-ray players are the first with Dolby Vision HDR
  • Roli expands its modular music gear with the touch-friendly Seaboard
  • Super realistic racing returns with ‘Project Cars 2’ in September
  • The trailer for life-creating sim ‘Everything’ could make gaming history and win an Academy Award

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What to expect from Apple at WWDC 2017

As a rule, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is predictable: New versions of iOS, macOS and watchOS are the stars of the show, and anything else is gravy. WWDC 2017, however, is shaping up to be different. Although there hasn’t been much talk about what the new software will entail, the rumor mill has kicked into high gear with word of new Macs, new iPads and even a smart speaker. All told, operating systems may actually be the least exciting part of Apple’s keynote. But which products are likely to steal the spotlight, and which ones are just wishful thinking? That’s what we’re here to sort out.

A Siri speaker in your living room

APPLE-DEVELOPERS/

Here’s something you haven’t seen in a while: the prospect of Apple introducing a completely new device at its developer conference. Rumors are swirling of that the company will unveil a Siri-controlled speaker at WWDC, overshadowing virtually anything else Apple would otherwise discuss at the keynote. It might not ship until sometime later in the year (likely to give developers time to support it), but production may have already started.

As you might expect, the speaker would represent Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. It would likely handle many of the tasks that Siri already does on your iPhone, such as checking the weather, playing music and controlling HomeKit gear — you just wouldn’t have to pick up a gadget to listen to songs or turn on your lights. The speaker could be particularly important if you want to control your household when you’re away because you currently need to use an Apple TV or iPad as a hub to control your HomeKit-compatible devices remotely.

There hasn’t been much discussion of the speaker’s design, but Bloomberg believes it would stand out from the pack by focusing on audio quality. You’d enjoy louder, crisper sound than what you typically get from rivals like Echo or Home. It might also incorporate virtual surround sound that would provide a more immersive experience. There has even been talk of Apple including ambient noise sensors to adjust the volume when you’re talking, but it’s not clear that this feature made the cut before production began.

New MacBooks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A speaker might not be the only hardware introduced on stage. Apple is rumored to be updating its laptop line at WWDC, possibly in an attempt to underscore its renewed support for the Mac. The most credible rumors, again from Bloomberg, suggest that these would mostly be under-the-hood updates. Both the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook would jump to seventh-generation Intel Core (aka Kaby Lake) processors that promise both faster performance and longer battery life. They might support more memory, too. Customers have complained that the MacBook Pro’s maximum 16GB of RAM isn’t enough to handle heavy workloads, and there have been hints that the laptop will support as much as 32GB with its next refresh. The more diminutive MacBook might also support as much as 16GB, although that’s clearly not as vital an upgrade given that it’s only designed for basic tasks.

There’s some tangible evidence to back up these claims. Apple recently delayed shipping times for 15-inch MacBook Pro orders, pushing their delivery to the day after the WWDC keynote. The Cupertino firm frequently stalls orders like this when it’s clearing out inventory for an outgoing device, so that’s as strong a sign as any that something is afoot.

Don’t get your hopes up for a MacBook Air update, though. Although the same Bloomberg rumor had Apple considering an Air refresh, neither the filings nor other clues point to an imminent upgrade. If there is one, we’d expect it to fly under the radar. This would be a maintenance update that does just enough to keep Apple’s most affordable system relevant in 2017 — hardly something you’d want to crow about in a keynote. You might see a switch to seventh-gen Core processors but not much more than that.

A 10.5-inch iPad

While Apple’s mainstream iPad just received an update in March, the iPad Pro is more than a little overdue. Neither Pro model has been touched for more than a year, and they’re based on a design that hasn’t changed much since the original iPad Air in 2013. Where’s a truly new iPad, one that pushes the concept forward? Thankfully, it sounds like you might get it at WWDC — there’s mounting buzz that an update is right around the corner.

If you believe Bloomberg, it’s the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro that many expect to replace the 9.7-inch edition. This would be more than just an upsized version of the slate you see today. Slimmer bezels would give it a footprint roughly comparable to its smaller sibling, so you wouldn’t have to give up portability for the sake of a larger screen. The 10.5-inch tablet is likely to pack a faster processor (a souped-up version of the iPhone 7’s chip, possibly called the “A10X”), and it might have a higher-resolution display to match. One IHS Markit analyst believes it could have a 2,224 x 1,668 LCD that slots in neatly between existing 9.7-inch iPads (2,048 x 1,536) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2,732 x 2,048).

There isn’t much else to know about the specs at this point, but we have found a few clues. Case leaks from Twitter’s @ShaiMizrachi point to a familiar layout for the 10.5-inch iPad, including the stereo speakers you’ve seen on all Pro models so far. Also, Consomac has found Eurasian Economic Commission filings for four previously unknown iPad models split into two families. It’s easy to guess that these may be WiFi and cellular versions of both the 10.5-inch Pro and another iPad, possibly a refreshed 12.9-inch model.

Just don’t expect the iPad mini to get any attention at the same time. Apple only recently doubled the storage for the iPad mini 4, so it’s doubtful that you’ll see a more substantial upgrade a few months later. In fact, a BGR rumor claims that Apple might drop the mini in the long run. This tiniest of iPads reportedly doesn’t sell well compared to its larger counterparts, and the iPhone 7 Plus is close enough for some buyers. Bigger iPads are the future, and WWDC could reflect that.

Software: iOS, macOS and Siri’s future

Apple’s software plans would normally take center stage in one of our WWDC previews. This is a developer conference, after all. But thus far, there have been precious few credible hints as to what Apple will announce. This isn’t to say that this year’s updates will be low-key — it’s just that Apple may be keeping a lid on secrets this year.

In a Bloomberg interview, Apple’s Jimmy Iovine mentioned that iOS 11 would include a new Music app that does a better job with videos. Projects like Carpool Karaoke might fit better into the app, something that’ll help Apple push more exclusive video content going forward. Also, there are longstanding rumors of improved iPad support across all of iOS. You could use the Pencil to annotate all kinds of content, such as websites or email messages. This certainly makes sense if there’s a 10.5-inch iPad in the works, since Apple has been keen to demonstrate that iPads can serve as PC replacements.

When it comes to the Mac, there’s even less to say — we’re practically limited to speculation. One theory is plausible, though: Given that Apple File System launched on mobile devices with iOS 10.3, it stands to reason that macOS is next in line. If so, you could expect speedier, more secure storage that’s better-optimized for Macs with solid-state drives.

We haven’t heard anything about new versions of watchOS or tvOS, so any big features will come as surprises.

Instead, the greater focus might be on a common thread for all of Apple’s software: AI. It’s no secret that Apple has been making heavy investments in AI, and WWDC could be an ideal venue to showcase improvements, whether they apply to Siri or individual apps. Some of Apple’s acquisitions may indicate what’s on deck. Turi, for example, helps detect patterns and personalize content. Siri might be better at understanding your requests by recognizing what you tend to look for while iOS might be more proactive when suggesting photos or music.

Improvements to Siri could be particularly crucial this year. If there really is a Siri speaker, its success could hinge on high-quality AI; it has to answer common requests as well as an Echo or Home. And few would doubt that rivals like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana have distinct advantages over Siri on any device, such as Google’s access to its powerful search engine. Although we wouldn’t expect a total revolution in Siri’s abilities, it probably can’t remain as-is for much longer.

Wildcards: Mac Pros and iMacs

Apple Unveils New Versions Of Popular iPad

You can never completely rule out surprises at Apple events, even if WWDC’s focus limits the kind of introductions you’re likely to see. And there are certainly a few candidates this year.

One such possibility is a very early preview of the redesigned Mac Pro. Apple revealed the current workstation’s design at WWDC 2013, months ahead of its release, and it wouldn’t be shocking if there were a repeat showing as the company reassures developers worried about the fate of pro Mac desktops. But the new Mac Pro is still a long ways away (it’s not expected until sometime in 2018), and there may not be much point to showing it off if Apple isn’t ready to provide the finished specs.

Augmented reality might also show up, since Apple has been very open about its interest in AR technology. With that said, there aren’t any believable rumors of Apple having something it can show at WWDC. We’ve heard that it could be testing AR glasses, but they might not ship until 2018, if not later. At best, you’ll get a sneak peek.

If there’s a relatively realistic wild card, it might be the pro iMacs that Apple confirmed back in April. The company was only willing to commit to a “later in 2017” release at the time, but some of the hardware needed to make this all-in-one is available now. Notice how Intel’s new Core i9 chips have the abundance of cores that pros crave? No, they’re not Xeons, but they could easily fit the bill if you need to compile code or edit 4K videos. It may just be a matter of whether or not Apple is willing and able to use these parts quickly. We wouldn’t be surprised if these high-performance iMacs weren’t unveiled until the fall.

Image credits: Reuters/Stephen Lam; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The Morning After: Tuesday, May 16th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Squeezable smartphones, perhaps our first look at the glass-backed, iPhone 8 (don’t worry, unrelated), and the death of the graphing calculator? All this, and we’re only on Tuesday morning. Oh, and Toyota is musing on flying cars.


But can it play Drug Wars?Desmos app could kill off the graphing calculator

Overpaying for graphing calculators has been a rite of passage for as long as any millennials can remember, but the reign of the TI-84 may be coming to an end. That’s because of a new online calculator called Desmos that can run on any connected device and provide similar features. There are other internet-based calculators, but this one is embedded in the test itself and has backing from SAT administrator The College Board.


Squeezy phone.HTC’s squeezable U11 is its true 2017 flagship phone

After releasing the U Ultra, HTC is again attempting a top of the line smartphone with the U11. The specs behind its 5.5-inch curved Gorilla Glass display are just on par with other flagship devices, but the standout gimmick here is Edge Sense. Side-mounted pressure sensors can detect varying levels of grip and respond with associated shortcuts or app actions. Also, it can run up to three virtual assistants at once, with support for Google Assistant, Alexa and HTC’s own Sense Assistant. Finally, it loses the headphone jack but includes USB-C connected headphones that handle customized audio, as well as noise-canceling that runs off of the phone’s battery.


It’s the Shazam of foodThe ridiculous Not Hotdog app from ‘Silicon Valley’ is real

These days it’s even more difficult to tell parody apps from the real ones.


Android in autoVolvo and Audi are building Android into their new cars

Ahead of the Google I/O event later this week, Volvo and Audi have announced plans to base their next-generation infotainment systems on Android. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but the partnership promises support for Google Assistant, Google Maps and Android apps like Spotify running directly on the car’s hardware without requiring an Android Auto hand-holding from your phone.


ExclusiveiPhone 8 renders point to glass back and wireless charging

A reliable source in the accessory industry has told us that these renders represent Apple’s iPhone 8. If they hold up, they point to a new vertical orientation for the dual-camera setup, with the microphone and flash integrated into the camera hump. They also suggest that the dual-camera and wireless charging will be a standard feature, but we’ll have to wait until this fall to find out for sure — and to see the rumored tenth anniversary iPhone.


Meet the ‘Skydrive’Toyota wants flying cars in time for the 2020 Olympics

Larry Page isn’t the only one with a thing for flying cars — Toyota is backing a small startup working on a drone-like vehicle. The Skydrive from Cartivator would lift about 33 feet off of the ground and scoot along at up to 62mph. The plan is to have commercial versions ready ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That seems optimistic, but it could provide one more reason to snag a ticket now instead of waiting.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Implanted pancreatic cells could cure diabetes
  • Plenty of blame to go around: The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware is a stark reminder of a broken system
  • What’s on TV this week: ‘Phantom Dust’ remastered, ‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ and ‘Injustice 2’
  • United flight crew inadvertently shares cockpit door codes online
  • Engadget Podcast Ep 39: Rip Off
  • Motorola’s leaked 2017 phone lineup points to the return of the Moto X

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