iPhone, News/Rumors

Next-generation ‘iPhone 7’ to be thinnest yet

In a note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested Apple is planning to make the new iPhone between 6.0 and 6.5 millimeters thick. That means, that the next year’s “iPhone 7” could be Apple’s thinnest smartphone yet. As a comparison, the current model of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are 6.9mm and 7.1mm thick, respectively. 

The report also states that the next-generation device will use the same Force Touch technology as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus as the company’s suppliers have invested heavily in the feature for this year’s devices.

“Apple and its suppliers have invested heavily in iPhone Force Touch in 2015 and we believe 2016 new models will stick with a similar Force Touch structure as used in 2015,” Kuo wrote.

Kuo didn’t provide more details on Apple’s anticipated “iPhone 7,” but it’s much expected that next year’s update will bring a new chassis to differentiate from the iPhone 6 series. The company has traditionally redesigned its iPhone every two years, and presented an “s” upgrade with largely identical appearance to its predecessor in the years in between.


Apple is believed to showcase an “iPhone 6s ” this Wednesday. The most expected upgrades will include Force Touch input, a faster “A9” processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and higher resolution cameras.

In addition, the company is expected to present a new rose gold color option, joining space gray, white, and gold. And the device is rumored to sport the same series 7000 aluminum found in the Apple Watch, which must enhance durability of the product.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Instagram updated its Direct messaging feature with chat threads, giant emoji, more

Facebook-owned Instagram updated its private-messaging feature, called Instagram Direct with a number of notable improvements.

Direct feature was first announced in 2013 and allowed users to send a single photo privately to a friend or a group of friends, where it could be commented on away from the public eye.

With the update, Instagram Direct now supports threaded conversations and allows you to pick a photo from a user’s feed to send to a friend or group privately as a Direct message.

According to Instagram representatives, over 85 million people use Direct each month to “send inside jokes, family videos, photos from road trips and other moments meant only for a handful of people.

Now Direct is a good messaging solution with threaded conversations that make keeping up in group chats easier, group names as seen on other messaging services, and a quick camera feature for sharing selfies faster than before. Instagram was also updated with giant emoji messaging and now lets users share photos and videos from the main timeline to Direct privately.


Instagram has offered a few significant changes to its service over the last few months. In addition to adding search capabilities to the web in July, it also changed a signature feature last week, offering users to upload portrait and landscape images in addition to square photos.

The new update is available and requires an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 7.0 or later.

Apple TV, News/Rumors

Apple TV 4 reportedly launches in October for $149 or $199

The next-generation Apple TV will debut in October for less than $200. The sources have revealed additional details on Apple’s pricing, availability, and product lineup plans for its set-top devices.

According to the latest reports, the fourth-generation Apple TV will be available for $200, and is on track to become available in October. Apple is reportedly finalizing the price of the upcoming device, but the latest options call for a starting price point of either $149 or $199.

Since the new product will be considerably more expensive than other streaming media devices on the market, the source notes that the company wants to keep the current third-gen Apple TV around. Its more modest $69 price tag will serve as an entry-level device into the Apple TV line.

The web-based TV service is expected to provide a lightweight package of about 25 channels for around $40 per month. 


The new Apple TV is believed to have a dual-core A8 processor, an App Store with a native SDK for developers, Siri voice control, HomeKit integration. In addition, the device is said to feature a new user interface and a redesigned remote control with motion sensors, a touchpad on the top, physical buttons on the bottom and a microphone. 

Apple reportedly plans to present its new set-top box, alongside the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, at a media event in San Francisco on September 9.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Instagram supports portrait and landscape mode for photo and video

Instagram announced that users will be allowed to share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape modes. The company found out, that one in five photos aren’t in the square format, so the new capability is now available via the Instagram app update version 7.5 on iOS. 

Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.

It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.”

When selecting an existing image or video to upload, Instagram visitors can now tap a format button to choose one of three dimensions. The full-sized content will then appear in feeds, although profile grids will still show photos in cropped squares to preserve symmetry.


Instagram has allowed users to post all content in a square format, a deliberate throwback to old analog cameras such as Holgas. The updated version offers separate filters for photos and videos, but these are newly interchangeable. On videos, users can now scale the intensity of effects.

The company also hopes that the update makes videos “more cinematic than ever” thanks to widescree.

The update is available now for all Instagram users.


Apple may stop $99 ‘One to One’ tutoring program

Apple may reportedly end its $99 “One to One” tutoring program for Mac and iOS users.

The company is planning to stop the program to let retail employees focus on hosting more free workshops, which multiple people are able to attend at once. 

One to One is a popular Apple program that allows users who buy a Mac to pay an additional $99 for one year of Mac, iPhone, and iPad instruction from Apple retail employees. One to One offers feature 30 or 60 minute Personal Training sessions, 90-minute Group Training sessions, and 90-minute group-based Open Training sessions.
One to One members can receive help with a lot of different topics, as well as training sessions on Apple apps, such as Photos, Mail, iMovie, Final Cut Pro.

One to One will help you do more than you ever thought possible with your Mac. First, we’ll set up your email, transfer your photos, music, and other files, and show you how to keep everything in sync with iCloud. Then, we’ll work with you to create a curriculum tailored to your goals, learning style, and experience level.”


Apple already opened a number of free workshops at its stores, but the company is likely planning to reorganize them around themes like “Discover” and “Create.”

It is also probably, the company is looking to maximize the labor it gets out of retail staff. Employees running personal One to One sessions aren’t free to talk to other customers or process sales, which can potentially impede business.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Final Fantasy VII comes to iOS

Final Fantasy VII, the legendary Japanese RPG that debuted on the original PlayStation back in 1997, has finally reached the App Store.

The game is currently available as a universal app for iPhone and the iPad for $15.99.

As the developer, Square Enix, stated, the iOS version of Final Fantasy VII is a port of the PC version, with no changes or additions to the storyline.

The iOS version of the title brings a virtual on-screen controller that’s “designed not to obscure the action.” It features virtual analog or fixed 4-way digital control pad options and the opacity of the on-screen controls is adjustable. In addition, the iOS game offers an option to turn off foe encounters in area maps and a Max Stats command to “become all-powerful in the blink of an eye.” 

It took a few years for the company to bring Final Fantasy VII to the iOS App Store. In 2013, Square Enix producer Takashi Tokita said that a release of Final Fantasy VII was years away because of space limitations. “It’s that currently, space will be an issue,” he said. “Phones won’t be able to contain the space it takes. It’s over a gigabyte. People are probably going to have to wait for a few years.” 

Earlier this year, Apple expanded the size limitation on apps from 2GB to 4GB. According to the App Store description of the game, it takes 1.66GB of storage space, but needs more than 4GB of free space to download. 

Final Fantasy VII can be played on the iPhone 5s or later, the third-generation iPad or later, and the iPad mini 2 or later.


Apple debuts new Apple Music ads featuring artists

Apple has shared three new video ads for Apple Music on its YouTube channel.

The ads focus on how the service helps users discover artists. These three brand new ads center around its streaming service, the service’s Connect social network, and the effect music can have on those who “live and breathe” it. The videos all demonstrate that Apple Music has “All the artists you love and are about to love, all in one place.”

The first ad features Kygo, known as a popular Norwegian DJ and record producer. The video shows Kygo playing at a piano and then highlights Apple Music Connect and the ability to learn more about an artist via their Connect profile.

The second ad features James Bay, a popular British musician who performed his songs “Let it Go” and “Hold Back The River.” In the video, the singer plays an acoustic version of his song “Craving” as Apple again highlights Connect and the discovery features it supports.

The third video offers a variety of different artists, including James Bay, Kygo, Leon Bridges, Flo Morrissey, and others. This ad, named “Discovery,” also has a Trent Reznor as the narrator.

The new videos debuted two weeks after the company began an Apple Music ad campaign in several public spaces around the world, including billboards, signage at bus shelters and subway stations, and more.

Apple TV, News/Rumors

Apple TV service pushed back to 2016

Apple has to delay the announcement of its long-rumored streaming TV service to sometime in 2016.

While the company has revealed its plans to announce its long-rumored streaming TV service at its upcoming September 9 event,  its rumored internet TV service will not make an appearance at that event according to a new report out of Bloomberg. 

The company wanted to introduce this year a live TV service delivered via the Internet, but is now aiming for 2016”, said people familiar with Apple’s plans.

The talks with major TV networks such as CBS and 21st Century Fox are progressing, but at a very slow place. The company reportedly doesn’t have the computer network capacity in place to provide a good viewing experience—a common complaint among users of Dish’s Sling TV and other streaming services.


Apple plans to offer its TV service, which will feature a package of popular channels, for $40 a month. However, TV programmers hope to get more money from the company’s new web TV service than they do from existing cable and satellite TV partners because the service is new to the market and is attempting to gain share.

A new Apple TV set top box, however, is still expected to be ready for release. The new Apple TV is rumored to come with a touch-based remote control and full app store.


iPad Mini 4 may support Split View Multitasking

The upcoming iPad mini 4 will reportedly support the Split View multitasking feature in iOS 9. According to the file found by developer Hamza Sood in the upcoming OS X El Capitan’s Safari 9 browser, there is support for a split-screen view of Safari on the iPad mini.

Responsive design mode, which allows developers to test various layouts in Safari 9, also makes it possible to simulate a Split View layout on an iPad mini 3. The iPad mini 3 doesn’t have support for Split View, giving further proof that the iPad mini 4 is probably to be the tablet that uses Split View multitasking.

iOS 9 offers multitasking for the iPad, and while two of the features, Picture-in-Picture and Slide Over, are available on the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3, the true Split View multitasking feature is only available on the iPad Air 2 because it has 2GB of RAM and a robust A8X processor.


In order to support Split View, the upcoming iPad mini 4 will require internal specs that match or exceed those of the iPad Air 2. The device is expected to come with Apple’s A8X processor or the A9 processor that’s being used in its 2015 iOS devices, with 2GB of RAM also being a strong possibility.

There was no confirmation for specs for the iPad mini 4, however, the device is believed to look like a smaller version of the iPad Air 2, wich has a much slimmer 6.1mm body and iPad Air 2-style design features.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple uploads a new “If it’s not an iPhone” ad focused on photos and videos

Apple has finally posted its latest advertisement as part of its new “if it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone” marketing series. 

Like in previous TV ad, Apple appears to be promoting images and videos taken by actual iPhone customers. The new video focuses on the iPhone’s camera, photo taking capabilities, and video recording features.

The ad shows an assortment of artfully arranged iPhones that display photos and videos in an assortment of different patterns. A narrator speaks about the iPhone’s popularity as a camera and its ease of use. 

Every day, millions of amazing photos and videos are shot with iPhone. That’s because the iPhone makes it easy—for everyone—to shoot amazing photos and video. If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

At the end of the 30-second spot, dozens of iPhones are placed in a collage layout with different videos and images on screen.

As with previous videos, Apple ends the “Photos & Videos” ad with the tagline “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”