Apple joins Instagram just to show off iPhone photos

Back in 2015, Apple wanted to show off the camera chops of its then-flagship iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones, so it decided to tell the world the old fashioned way. A new ad campaign plastered gorgeous photos of natural and human beauty up on posters and in television commercials, all with the subtle tagline at the bottom: Shot on iPhone 6. Now, three years later, Apple has made a permanent showcase for pics taken with its smartphones…on Instagram.


A look through the lens of iPhone users around the world. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part. – Words and images by @koci, @itsreuben, @danilo, @_xst, @subwayhands, @marcelonava, @brockdavis, @lanadeathray, @thesdcowgirl, @inomad, @_yaisyusman_, @dawn_denfeld, @pauloctavious, @jeremysnell, @laurazazanis, @ryanpernofski, @abstractconformity, @mirafilm, @joez19, @daniil, @oli_op, @fotombo, @j9ryl, @tertiusalio, @maggiefortsonphoto, @trevorpaulhus, @rodrigomartinezfotos, @louiegraphy, @vmiura, @lfleischer, @vasjenkatro, @stevenxuex, @ianteraoka, @easonhsiung, @omidscheybani, @tamon_, @jaywilliamsphotography, @holephoto, @bigheadtaco, @mamacaxx

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Not that Apple’s a stranger to the platform’s usefulness, since it’s had an account dedicated to its Music service for awhile now, with matching ones on Twitter and Facebook. As Adweek points out, the company saw the value of having a presence on all three social media platforms for its audio subscription service, but is infamously miserly with any other social promotion (though they have main profiles on Twitter and Facebook, both are blank).

But for whatever reason, Apple’s chosen now to showcase photos taken from its smartphones. So far, eight mini-collections of photos have been posted with attribution to the photographers.

Source: Apple (Instagram account)

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The next Apple Watch might not need an iPhone for data

Well, Apple Watch fans have more to look forward to than just a new operating system. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple will release a version of its Watch with cellular network support built-in by year’s end, relieving users of the need to carry their iPhones around. Three words: it’s about time.

Rumors of a cellular Apple Watch are nothing new, and the whole concept should sound very familiar by now. After all, Samsung and LG have had LTE-enabled smartwatches for years, and the latter developed one such wearable to help launch Android Wear 2.0 earlier this year. While it’s not yet clear what Apple plans to let people do with these mobile data connections, it’s likely that users will be able to send messages and make phone and FaceTime Audio calls without being tethered to an iPhone.

Interestingly, Intel is said to be providing the modem for the new Apple Watch, which isn’t a huge surprise — Apple tapped the chipmaker for modems used in certain versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Given the Watch’s small size, Apple and Intel may opt to use a digital “eSIM” rather than a traditional plastic SIM card as well. That could signal a similar decision for future iPhones, which would have potentially huge ramifications for how such smartphones (and their data plans) are sold.

If nothing else, though, use of an eSIM would likely preserve the Apple Watch’s compact footprint. Consider LG’s flagship Watch Sport: it was the more powerful of the two smartwatches that debuted alongside Android Wear 2.0, and the space required to fit a physical SIM card inside helped make it big and somewhat unwieldy. That’s not really Apple’s style, especially since the company’s new Watch is said to benefit from an all-new form factor.

If true, Apple’s next step in wearables may be an iterative one. Still, if the company’s most recent earnings release is any indication, demand for the Watch is still going strong. According to CEO Cook, Watch sales grew 50 percent year over year — seriously, Tim, would some hard numbers now and then really kill you?

Source: Bloomberg

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Apple iPad sales grow year-over-year for the first time since 2013

This time of year isn’t usually great for Apple’s hardware sales, but the company’s newly released Q3 earnings has at least one pleasant surprise. In addition to raking in $ 45.4 billion in revenue over the past three months, Apple also said it sold 41 million iPhones and 11.4 million iPads. That works out to tepid growth of 1.5 percent for iPhones over last year, but the iPads? We’re looking at a jump of nearly 15 percent since last August. This also marks the first time iPad sales have grown year-over-year since the halcyon days of 2013. (Yes, Apple’s fiscal Q1 2014 earnings showed a yearly lift in iPad sales, thanks to all the iPads sold during the 2013 holiday season.)

That iPhone sales basically stayed flat is little surprise — Tim Cook himself said last quarter that incessant reports about new models stymied sales, and we’re now about a month away from new iPhone announcements. Meanwhile, iPads — and the tablet market in general — have been looking anemic at best for a while now. This quarter’s notable lift is thanks to the launch of multiple new models this year, from a pair of new iPad Pros to a low-cost, $ 329 model meant to help new customers and upgraders with old ‘Pads experience what new versions of iOS can offer. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t mention whether this surge in tablet sales was mainly attributable to those beautiful new Pros or its rock-solid cheap tablet.

Mac sales, meanwhile, remained essentially flat with just about 4.3 million units sold. People clearly weren’t too thrilled about the refreshed machines Apple showed off at WWDC, but the big stuff hasn’t arrived yet. We’ll see what happens when that sleek new iMac Pro goes on sale later this year.

The seasonality of Apple’s fortunes is well understood — Q3 is generally pretty quiet as people gear up for the announcement of new products in September. (The financial party really kicks into high gear in Q1, when Apple the results of its typically-bonkers holiday sales period.) Since lulls like this are relatively easy to foresee, Apple has to be proud that its service revenue — the money it makes off things off iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Music subs, iCloud and more — is also up. Altogether, those purchases add up to $ 7.26 billion, up 22 percent since this time last year. Apple CFO Luca Maestri specifically pointed to Apple Music and iCloud storage as two areas that saw notably strong growth.

And then there’s all those other products, like AirPods, Watches and more, that Apple handily lumps into a single category called “Other Products.” This time, the company reported $ 2.75 billion in revenue, which is up a whole lot from last year but not so much from last quarter. The year-over-year jump is to be expected since Apple’s surprisingly popular AirPods weren’t available until the winter of 2016; the very slight decline since last quarter could mean people aren’t buying AirPods quite as rapaciously as before, or that Apple is (still) having trouble producing in large enough quantities.

CEO Cook did, however, point out that Watch sales were up 50 percent year-over-year. Sadly, Apple is still more than happy to avoid breaking down revenue into slices for its wearables and accessories, so it’s hard to say for sure which products contributed most to this segment’s growth.

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Judge rules lawsuit claiming Apple broke FaceTime can proceed

Apple was hit with a lawsuit earlier this year that claims the company purposefully broke FaceTime on iOS 6 in order to push people to upgrade to iOS 7. And as of late last week, Apple failed to get the suit dismissed as District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that iPhone 4 and 4S users can pursue claims against Apple.

The whole situation is a result of Apple wanting to reduce the cost of using third-party servers to manage FaceTime calls. Doing so was costing the company millions of dollars per month in fees, so with iOS 7, Apple changed the way FaceTime functioned so that the third-party servers weren’t used as often. However, users of iPhone 4s and 4Ss were still using iOS 6 so, allegedly, Apple let a security certificate lapse in order to break FaceTime for iOS 6 and force customers to upgrade their operating systems.

In its attempt to get rid of the lawsuit, Apple claimed that users didn’t suffer economic loss because FaceTime is free. But in her decision, Koh said, “Plaintiffs paid for their iPhones, and FaceTime is a ‘feature’ of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone’s cost. Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as “one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.”

Apple also tried to argue that iPhone users weren’t entitled to FaceTime service saying that the Plaintiffs “have no right to uninterrupted, continuous, or error-free” FaceTime. To which, Judge Koh responded, “Plaintiffs do not allege that FaceTime operation was interrupted, or that it contained errors. Rather Plaintiffs allege that Apple in effect made FaceTime unavailable to owners of iPhone 4 and 4S devices…The unavailability of FaceTime is different from ‘interruptions’ or ‘errors’ in FaceTime.”

The plaintiffs are seeking both loss and punitive damages in amounts that will be determined at trial.

Via: Reuters

Source: District Court Decision

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Apple and Cochlear team up on made-for-iPhone hearing implant

We’ve known that Apple has an interest in iOS-based hearing aids for some time, as they’ve worked with various manufacturers to bring these devices to the market. Now, Cochlear has teamed up with Apple to make the first cochlear implant sound processor that is specifically made for the iPhone. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which promises to be both the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear device of its kind that’s currently available, was approved by the FDA back in June.

The Nucleus 7 works natively with the iPhone. Users can go to the Accessibility settings of their device (locating in “Settings” then “General”) and pair it the same way you do a Bluetooth device. After that, the volume control on the iPhone will control the implant’s settings. You can do even more by downloading the Nucleus Smart App, including location tracking to figure out the last place the Nucleus 7 was connected (handy for lost devices).

Cochlear also is selling the Made for iPhone Bimodal Solution, which consists of a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other ear. This allows for synced streaming into both ears from your compatible iOS device — you just need one of Cochlear’s ReSound hearing aids.

Interested consumers have to wait until September 2017 for the Nucleus 7, and it will only be available in the US and Canada. If you have a Nucleus CI24RE, CI500 or a Profile Series implant, then you’ll be eligible for an upgrade starting in October. Tech advances and partnerships such as this are always welcome news. With over 360 million people worldwide suffering from serious hearing loss, it’s nice to see companies working together to make a positive impact on their lives.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Cochlear

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JCPenney joins the modern age and adopts Apple Pay

The list of stores and merchants that accept Apple Pay seems to be growing on a daily basis, and now there’s one more to add to the list. JCPenney’s store credit card will now work with Apple Pay, and the department store will now accept Apple Pay at all of its locations. Additionally, users of JCPenney’s app will also have an Apple Pay option when shopping on their iPhone or iPad.

One of the benefits of JCPenney’s store card is that it allows users to pay using points accrued with the store’s rewards program. It’s free to sign up for JCPenney Rewards. The troubled department store chain is clearly hoping to attract a younger user base, encouraging them to sign up for both the store credit card and rewards program by making it as seamless as possible to pay for purchases.

While Apple may claim to be pleased with the number of people using Apple Pay, retail acceptance still isn’t quite as large as the company would like. It’s noteworthy that it’s taken three years for JCPenney, a widespread retail giant, to integrate ApplePay. Now that it has, more department stores and traditional retailers may follow suit.

Source: Nasdaq

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Apple CarPlay now supports Google Play Music

If for some reason you’re an iOS and CarPlay user that also manages your tunes with Google Play Music, you’re in luck. Google’s music service is now compatible with Apple’s in-car system, which means you can control things from the safety of your car’s display rather than fiddle with your iPhone while on the road.

CarPlay already works with Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify, so it makes sense that Google would want to get its own service into rotation here. According to 9to5Google, Google Play Music for CarPlay has four main sections. You can view your recommendations on the Home screen, recently played tunes on Recents, your saved music catalog on Music Library and find genres and other collections on Stations. To get this fine feature, you only have to update your Google Play Music app on your iPhone and you’ll be good to go. You can also move the Play Music icon to your main CarPlay screen in the CarPlay Settings on your iPhone to make it even easier to access.

Source: 9to5Google

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Sweetgreen’s iOS app logs calories directly to Apple Health

To this day, Apple Health still lacks a food database, leaving health-conscious iPhone owners with few options. Most people just end up relying on an Apple Health-integrated app, like MyFitnessPal, to tally all their meals. But, let’s face it, that can be a pain, especially when it comes to searching for stuff you eat on the fly. However, Sweetgreen has come up with a nifty idea to make life easier for calorie-counters. In what seems to be a first, the restaurant chain’s iPhone app lets you send your order’s dietary data to Apple Health from your cart.

The new option (spotted by AppleInsider) essentially cuts out the middleman. It also lets you rest easy in the knowledge that you’re logging the exact calorie count taken from the source. These things matter when you’re on a strict regimen. Frankly, it’s surprising more restaurant and food delivery apps don’t offer the feature. Then again, do you really want UberEats to track the calories in that late-night kebab?

Via: AppleInsider

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Qualcomm wants to ban iPhone imports with new Apple complaint

Qualcomm’s latest move in its rapidly escalating legal battle against Apple is bold. It filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), saying that the import and sales of some models of iPhones is “unlawful” and is requesting that the commission “bar importation of those iPhones and other products.” According to Qualcomm, those devices “infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents covering key technologies that enable important features and functions,” and constitute “unlawful and unfair use of Qualcomm’s technology.”

On top of that, Qualcomm is seeking a Cease and Desist Order to bar further sales of “infringing Apple products that have already been imported and to halt the marketing, advertising, demonstration, warehousing of inventory for distribution and use of those imported products in the United States.”

In other words, Qualcomm wants to make it impossible for Apple to sell any iPhones that it believes have used its technology without permission. It’s also seeking “damages and injunctive relief” via a complaint filed in the District Court for the Southern District of California.

According to Qualcomm, the six patents in question “enable high performance in a smartphone while extending battery life.” The company even made an infographic to show you how iPhones use these patented technologies.

It’s not yet clear which generations of the iPhone will be affected, or how the US ITC and the respective courts will rule. Just as Qualcomm countersued Apple earlier this year, it’s certain the iPhone maker will respond soon.

Via: CNBC

Source: Qualcomm

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CNBC: Apple wants the iPhone to manage your medical history

Apple has been working on a hush-hush project that would make your whole medical history more accessible, according to CNBC. The tech titan reportedly wants to turn your iPhone into a repository for every diagnosis, lab test result, prescription, health info and doctor’s comment. That way, you don’t have to go through a bunch of emails to find that one test result sent as a PDF attachment or to have your previous doctor send data over to your new one. All you need to do to share any part of your medical history is to look fire up your iPhone.

According to CNBC, Cupertino is attempting to replicate what it did for music: it wants to create sort of an iTunes for health that would serve as a centralized management system for all your medical info. Apple is reportedly already in talks with various hospitals and health IT industry groups to work out the best way to make its vision a reality. One of those groups is “The Argonaut Project,” an initiative promoting the widespread adoption of open standards for health info, while the other is “The Carin Alliance,” an organization that wants to give patients control over their own medical data.

It’s unclear how far into the project Apple is at this point, but it sounds like the tech titan plans to store all your data on the cloud, since it has already started talking to cloud storage startups. If the company succeeds into making your full medical history available on the iPhone, it will solve what the medical industry calls “interoperability crisis.” That’s the lack of data-sharing between health providers that could lead to unnecessary mistakes and missed diagnoses that could be fatal for some patients.

Source: CNBC

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