iPhone, News/Rumors

TIME: Apple’s iPhone is most influential gadget of all time

TIME Magazine published its list of the 50 most influential gadgets of all time and Apple’s iPhone sits in the No. 1 spot.

The magazine reported that the iPhone is the most influential gadget of all time because of it “fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information.”

“The iPhone popularized the mobile app, forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks,” TIME says, noting that iPhone marked a fundamental shift in computing. 

Meantime, Apple’s products appear on the list more than once. The company’s original Macintosh and iPod also made the top 10, coming in at No. 3 and No. 9, respectively. 

The Macintosh appears in the list thanks to its graphical interface, user-friendly mouse, and “overall friendly design.” “It forever set the standard for the way human beings interact with computers,” TIME reports.

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Apple’s iPad sits at No. 25 and iBook at No. 38. TIME praises iBook for being the first laptop to offer WiFi:

“The iBook’s brightly-colored, plastic trim may look dated now, but it was the first laptop to offer wireless networking.”

Sony took two top-5 spots with the No. 2 Trinitron television set and No. 4 Walkman, a gadget on which iPod iterated.

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FBI reportedly paid less than $1 million to unlock San Bernardino iPhone

A new report claims the U.S. Federal Bureau of investigation paid less than $1 million for the tool it used to unlock the San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone 5c.

The FBI had to go through a third-party to gain access, as Apple refused to create a tool to do it. They now will be reportedly able to apply the technique to unlock other iPhone 5C models running iOS 9 without additional payment to the contractor who gave it.

However, even Comey doesn’t know who his agency contracted for the job.

It was first rummored that the FBI spent at least $1.3 million to get access to the device, as FBI director James Comey announced it cost “more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months.”

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently examining the contents of the device attempting to find information to fill gaps in their investigation of the shooting last December which killed 14 people and wounded 22, two U.S. government sources. Investigators are trying to find out if shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, had associates or co-conspirators.

The FBI and the iPhone maker once again faced off in Congress last week to discuss encryption.

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Instagram testing simpler design for its iOS app

Instagram is reportedly testing a complete redesign of its app, adopting a more modern look.

Unlike the previous classic Polaroid design, the new one features a more monochromatic look. 

The screenshot reveals a number of noticeable changes, including a focus on icons. 

The camera button in camera mode is now a grey ring rather than a blue circle. The activity button on the bottom bar features a simple heart rather than a heart in a speech bubble and the profile button on the bottom is the outline of a person rather than a user’s image. 

In a statement to Mashable, Instagram noted that it is testing the redesign involving a small percentage of its user base. 

The overall function of the app, however, remains the same.

We often test new experiences with a small percentage of the global community. This is a design test only,” an Instagram spokesperson said.

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Recently, the popular app has been updated with several long awaited and hugely popular features, including support for multiple accounts and the ability to share 60-second videos. Most importantly, however, Instagram recently announced that it would switch to new personalized algorithms based on each user for displaying content, a change it later backtracked on after backlash from the public.

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Beyonce Lemonade available on iTunes

Following a world release on HBO, Beyoncé’s latest album “Lemonade” hit Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal, as an exclusive location.

“Lemonade” is also now available for sale via Apple’s iTunes. 

Beyoncé premiered Lemonade on HBO Saturday night, collecting more than 1.8 million tweets worldwide. The album features numerous tracks that fans believe are aimed at husband Jay-Z, while the video includes several cameos, including Serena Williams and daughter Blue Ivy.

Lemonade full song listing as follows:

1. Pray You Catch Me

2. Hold Up

3. Don’t Hurt Yourself ft. Jack White

4. Sorry

5. 6 Inch ft. The Weeknd

6. Daddy Lessons

7. Love Drought

8. Sandcastles

9. Forward ft. James Blake

10. Freedom ft. Kendrick Lamar

11. All Night

12. Formation

iTunes allows users to download music and pay for it a la carte, while all-you-can-listen streaming services charge subscription fees.

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On Saturday, Tidal announced it is the only place where fans could access “Lemonade.” If you aren’t a member of the service, you will be required to sign up for a subscription, which costs about $9.99 per month.

But if you are not subscribed to Tidal and would like to listen to Lemonade right now, you can purchase the entire project for $17.99.

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Apple reportedly ended talks with Daimler and BMW for ‘Titan’ car project

German carmakers Daimler and BMW won’t be working with Apple on its rumored electric car, code-named Project Titan, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

The talks with Daimler have ended likely over the main questions like who would lead the project and which company would have ownership of the data. The source said, Apple wanted its own secure iCloud software to be used for data, while the German firms planned to protect customer data themselves.

Apple apparently ended talks with BMW last year, while negotiations with Daimler only recently broke down. 

According to a report from last summer, talks between Apple and BMW had already fallen apart because the iPhone maker wanted to explore doing the project by itself. Meantime, that report added, that negotianions could potentially resume.

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The company’s car project is focused on creating an electric car, which is rumored to feature self-driving capabilities. Such a car will possibly interface with the iPhone and other Apple services, but beyond the fact that a vehicle is in development, there are too few details revealed about the project. 

There are currently a lot of employees working on the car, at secret locations, which are likely situated in Sunnyvale, California and Berlin, Germany. The company is reportedly planning to finish work on the vehicle in 2019 or 2020.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple may release iPhone with glass casing and AMOLED Screen in 2017

Apple will reportedly switch to non-aluminum casing, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed.

He noted some Apple’s competitors now offer smartphones with aluminum casings, and he believes next year’s iPhone will be provided with a glass back to stand out from the competition.

In a new report, Kuo said, that the iPhone will receive a major redesign in 2017, returning to the glass chassis. The company already adopts OLED technology in the wearable Apple Watch, but its iPhone lineup has relied on LCD technology since it first released in 2007.

“Apple already uses glass casing for iPhone 4/ 4S, and non-Apple brands have also been using glass casings. We therefore think a drop test will not be problematic for glass casing. A glass casing may be slightly heavier than an aluminum one of the same thickness, but the difference is so small that the use of the thinner and lighter AMOLED panel will compensate for that.”

Kuo suggests, a new AMOLED display panel will be thinner and lighter to compensate for the slight weight increase of glass compared with metal exteriors. Last week, the company reportedly reached a $2.6 billion agreement with Samsung to supply OLED panels for iPhone displays.

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A number of sources have already stated that Apple will introduce an OLED-based iPhone as early as 2017, with possible suppliers eventually including Samsung, LG Display, AU Optronics, Japan Display, Foxconn-owned Sharp, and others.

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FBI remains mum about if San Bernardino iPhone is useful for investigation

After involving Apple in a high-profile court battle to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino Shooter Syed Farook, FBI lawyer refuses to say whether data extracted from the device is ‘useful’.

According to the statement FBI general counsel James Baker, it is “too early” to say whether anything useful would be found.

We’re now doing an analysis of that data, as we would in any other type of criminal terrorism investigation,’’ Mr. Baker said, adding: “That means we would follow logical leads.” But because the agency has only had access to the data for a short period of time, he said “it’s simply too early’’ to say whether anything found on the phone has been valuable to investigators.”

While the FBI has not shared how it was able to unlock the iPhone, it also won’t reveal what was found until that examination is complete.

FBI lawyer refuses to say whether data extracted from San Bernardino iPhone is 'useful'

It is still unclear if the method for hacking the iPhone can be used only for the iPhone 5c owned by Farook, but according to the report by The Wall Street Journal, the FBI is testing to find out if it can be used to unlock other versions of the device. 

According to rumors pointing to Israeli firm Cellebrite,  an unnamed third party helped the agency crack, bypass or otherwise thwart Farook’s passcode and extract the phone’s data.

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Siri can now answer more questions about the sport

Apple updated Siri, which allowed the voice-activated personal assistant to answer a wider range of questions about the sport.

Siri now covers 28 leagues, not just Major League Baseball.

According to the company, Siri now features some more baseball smarts: it can answer questions about more detailed statistics, including historical stats going back to the beginning of baseball records. The voice assistant can also provide information on career statistics, and specific information for leagues, including the Minors.

Siri first received an ability to answer sports questions with iOS 6 release.

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The news comes days after the announcement that iPbone maker and MLB have signed a deal for coaches to use 12.9 inch iPad Pros in the dugout during real games. This deal allows coaches and managers in the MLB to use iPad Pros, which works with a custom app for statistics, but usage of the devices is not mandatory.

Apple is continually working to improve Siri’s knowledge and often brings quiet updates. The personal assistant was also given some additional enhancements to its contextual awareness with the release of iOS 9.

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FBI agrees to help Arkansas prosecutor unlock iPhone, iPod involved in homicide case

The FBI has agreed to help unlock another iPhone and an iPod relating to a homicide case in Arkansas.

The news came days after the FBI announced that it had successfully unlocked the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen last December without Apple’s help.

“We always appreciate their cooperation and willingness to help their local law enforcement partners,” Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said. Patrick Benca, Drexler’s attorney, said he was notified the FBI agreed to help and that he was “not concerned about anything on that phone.”

According to the report, a judge agreed to postpone the trial so prosecutors could seek help unlocking the iOS devices. The both boys have pleaded not guilty to the murder.iPhone_6

There are no specific details at this point in the Arkansas case. It is also unclear if the FBI will use the same exploit in the Arkansas case. The target device is two generations removed from Farook’s iPhone 5c, which mean it not only contain stock with iOS 8, but also features hardware protection in a secure element embedded into the A8 processor.

In addition, the other teenager in the case reportedly used the iPod to discuss plans relating to the homicide.

“The iPod had just come into our possession a couple of weeks ago,” Hiland said. “Obviously when we heard that [the FBI] had been able to crack that phone we wanted to at least ask and see if they wanted to help.”

Prosecutors in the Arkansas case have possessed the device in question since July of last year, but have not received access. On Tuesday they asked trial proceedings be delayed as they sought FBI assistance.

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iPad Pro comes to the MLB dugouts this season

Apple and Major League Baseball have signed a multi-year deal that will see the sports league’s coaching staffs use iPad Pros in dugouts to make better use of data during games.

Sport managers and coaches have traditionally used notebooks, or just paper to monitor data. The new deal means, that MLB will provide 12.9 inch iPad Pros to every team in the league to keep track of player statistics, stat breakdowns, interactive data and more. 

Teams will be able sift through performance stats from current and past seasons, weigh potential pitcher-hitter matchups, look at “spray charts” showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, even cue up videos of plays from previous games.”

“We’re not just replacing binders with tablets, we’re actually helping them do things that weren’t possible before,” said Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. 

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The iPads will be equipped with a custom app titled ‘MLB Dugout’, created by MLB’s media division with help from Apple. The Dugout app will allow each team to view only their own data rather than league-wide data well. The app will be preloaded before each match, but the MLB plans to update the app so that data could be provided in real time. Pllayers will now have access to videos of pitchers during the game rather than having to retreat to the locker room.

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Such deal became possible because of a recent change to the rules which worked on the ban on smartphones, tablets and laptops in the dugouts. 

iPad is expected to help speed up the pace of matches, making baseball more interesting to a younger generation drawn to fast action sports.

Apple isn’t the first company to offer such deal. Microsoft has agreed to a similar deal with the NFL, to feature Surface tablets prominently during games.