Tag: iphone

Fake iPhone X has a fake notch, obviously

We're only one week away from iPhone X pre-orders, but the counterfeit market is already offering a variety of similar-looking devices to a particular crowd. As I anticipated, I came across one such clone while wandering around Hong Kong's Global Sources electronics fair earlier today, courtesy of a Shenzhen company by the marvelous name of Hotwonder. Its Hotwav Symbol S3 (also not the best name) is essentially an entry-level 4G Android phone shamelessly packaged into an iPhone X-like body, except for one notable difference: the screen "bezel" is white instead of black.

You see, unlike the real deal, the Symbol S3 only uses a rectangular display (a 6-inch 1,440 x 720 IPS panel), so if you strip away the white paint around it, you'll end up with an ordinary-looking smartphone with a regular forehead and chin. In other words, the white contour and notch are for mimicking the specially-cut shape of the iPhone X's OLED display, but such illusion only works when the background is black. Not to mention that the Android interface here is a dead giveaway, anyway.

Of course, you can't expect this random Chinese factory to clone Apple's TrueDepth sensor, but it did fill the notch with a pair of cameras plus an LED flash, making it a total of four bokeh-enabled cameras on this device: 5 megapixels plus 2 megapixels on the front, and 13 megapixels plus 2 megapixels on the back. Hotwonder also took the liberty to add a fingerprint magnet mirror finish to the back side, which could be considered as a bonus feature for those who carry a pocket mirror around.

The Symbol S3's spec sheet lists Android 8.0 as its operating system, and it can be equipped with either MediaTek's new MT6739 chipset (1.3GHz, 4x Cortex-A53, dual-LTE or LTE + WCDMA) or its much older MT6592 (1.7GHz, 8x Cortex-A7, 3G only). The device also packs a 2,900 mAh fixed battery (no wireless charging here), 16GB of internal storage and a mere 2GB of RAM. Yikes.

It's unclear how much this cheeky device will retail for, but I wouldn't be surprised if you can buy seven or eight of these for the price of one genuine iPhone X. But seriously, don't.


German soccer team puts players on your iPhone for AR selfies

Sports teams and broadcasters have been going all-in on high-tech initiatives lately. The NFL was an early adopter, with AR features appearing on Fox Sports broadcasts. The NBA just released an augmented reality mobile hoops game, Samsung has put MLB and the UFC on its Gear VR and ESPN is streaming X Games content to VR headsets as well. German soccer team, FC Bayern Munich, is taking its first AR steps, too, with a new feature in its iOS app that brings team captain Manuel Neuer or forward Arjen Robben into your iPhone for celebrity selfies.

You can choose which of the three "strips" Robben wears in the app, and you can personalize the back of the jersey for your screenshot photos, too. You can also buy player jerseys from within the app, if that's your thing. "This augmented reality feature offers fans a playful, unique and immersive opportunity to get closer to the team they love whether they are based in Munich, New York or Mexico," said FC Bayern Munich's Stefan Mennerich in a statement. "It is important to us that we continue to offer these innovative experiences, not only to ensure that we are connecting with our family of fans on all levels but also to continue advancing digital technology used in the sport sector."

The iOS app is free for download; simply tap over to the "AR Arena" to check out the player selfie feature. You'll need iOS 11 and an iPhone with an A9 or A10 processor, according to the developer.

Source: FC Bayern/iTunes


Apple ordered to pay $440 million to FaceTime patent troll

VirnetX's seemingly endless FaceTime patent lawsuit against Apple is winding down... sort of. An Eastern District of Texas court has denied all of Apple's motions to end the case in a non-infringement ruling or retrial, leaving the tech giant with a final judgment that orders it to pay VirnetX $439.7 million. That's much more than the $302.4 million Apple was told to pay last year. VirnetX, widely considered a patent troll, is unsurprisingly "elated" at having won its third jury battle against Apple. However, it can't really rest on its laurels -- that judgment isn't as final as it seems at first blush.

To begin with, Apple tells TechCrunch that it plans to appeal the final judgment. And it's no small matter that the USPTO has already invalidated all of VirnetX's patents. That doesn't stop the ongoing case, but the invalidation kicks in the moment all appeals have been exhausted. If Apple has better luck in court, VirnetX won't get a second shot -- and it can't wield those patents in new lawsuits regardless of what happens with Apple.

The judgment could still raise concerns for companies affected by other VirnetX-held patents, as it might set a higher bar for payouts in future cases. Microsoft 'only' had to pay $200 million, for example. However, VirnetX may have more trouble winning lawsuits going forward. A Supreme Court ruling in May forced companies to sue in places where they're either based or do a large chunk of their business, preventing companies from cherry-picking court districts that tend to favor trolls (such as the Eastern District of Texas). While this doesn't rule out future VirnetX victories, the firm will likely face a slower legal process and courts that aren't quite so receptive to its demands.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: PR Newswire


A ‘new’ version of iTunes brings back apps and ringtones

Still need a way to manage your applications and ringtones in addition to your music, movies and other media on your iPhone? Well, there's an app for that. Following iTunes' massive overhaul (version 12.7 if you're keeping track at home), the company has since released a version of the software that will let you continue to download and install apps to your handset via a desktop computer.

According to reddit though, it isn't as cut and dried as installing the new version (12.6.3; yes, it's a little confusing) and downloading apps. "Your iTunes library will still not be compatible after installing iTunes 12.6.3 on top of iTunes 12.7. You either need to revert to a backed up copy of your previous library, or you need to open iTunes while holding down the Option key (or Shift key on a Windows PC) on your keyboard, then choose 'create a new library.'"

This new-old version of the software should work with any official ringtones you've snagged, audiobooks and iTunes U downloads. Now that this is out of the way, maybe Apple can get back to fully debugging iOS 11.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Reddit


Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Mosaic’ app lets you choose a show’s narrative

Many TV shows have apps, but they're usually meant as nothing more than companions that encourage you to tune in. What if you could actually choose how the story is presented? Steven Soderbergh is trying just that. His upcoming HBO miniseries Mosaic will be accompanied by iOS app that gives you control over a branching narrative, letting you change how the story is told. And this isn't just a conventional show cut up into pieces. Soderbergh says he produced the story with the app in mind, and there are even different conclusions. While it won't be a Choose Your Own Adventure experience with big-name actors (Sharon Stone, Beau Bridges and Paul Reubens are part of the cast), it's likely as close as you'll get for a long while.

One of the best parts: effectively, you're getting an early peek at the series. The Mosaic app will be available for free in November, two months ahead of the show's HBO premiere in January. It's meant to drum up hype for the show, of course, but it'll also give you a rare opportunity to pick your own narrative and see how it compares to a 'definitive' take on TV. We wouldn't count on other shows following suit (not every producer has the luxury of shooting scenes exclusively for an app), but it might inspire others who have more of a story to tell than a linear TV show allows.

Source: HBO (Medium)


Zillow is adding 3D tours to its real estate listings

Zillow is working on an app that will allow those hunting for homes on its site to get a 3D tour of houses they're interested in buying or renting. The company says that 44 percent of home buyers and 47 percent of renters look for a new home outside of the region where they currently live, making it really important to have access to as much information as possible online.

With the Zillow Group Home Capture App, real estate agents can use an iPhone to take 360 degree photos of each room of a house. Once uploaded to Zillow Group via the app, the photos are then stitched together to create a 3D tour that can be added to a Zillow listing. Zillow says that a 3,000 square foot house can be captured in around half an hour.

The app is currently being tested among a select group of individuals in Scottsdale, Arizona. Zillow hopes to release the app in Phoenix at the start of next year and roll it out nationwide by the end of 2018. You can check out one of its 3D tours here.

Source: Zillow


Of course there’s retro-inspired ‘Stranger Things’ mobile game

Netflix has flirted with simple games starring its most popular original series, but its latest stab at interactive promo goes a little deeper. The streaming juggernaut tapped developer BonusXP to make a full-on mobile game for Stranger Things. And as you might expect, it's is about as retro as possible, aping classics of yore like River City Ransom and the NES' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for inspiration. All that to say, it's a bit more complicated than Netflix Infinite Runner from January. You can do sweet jumps on your bicycle as one of the kids and explore the Upside Down as Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper, for example.

The title is available for Android and iOS, but if you don't have a compatible device, you'll have to wait for the show's second season premiere on October 27th to journey back in time.

Source: iTunes, Google Play


Augmented reality teddy bear teaches kids about being a doctor

Kids frequently don't need much more than their imagination to bring a teddy bear to life, but what if they had a little boost? That's what Seedling hopes to do with Parker. The teddy by itself is the same sort of fluffy companion you likely had as a child, but an augmented reality app for iOS turns the bear into something much more. If you want to play doctor, you can look at Parker's insides to cure a stomach bug or ease a sore throat. You can create magic forests and sea gardens using the AR camera. And importantly you're rewarded for being kind: the more you take care of Parker, the more the bear uses AR to 'transform' the world around you.

Parker is available now for $60 with all the accessories you need to get started (besides an iPhone or iPad), including an interactive toy thermometer. That's not a trivial amount for a stuffed toy, but Seedling is betting that the AR element will be worth it as it teaches empathy and problem solving in addition to whatever your young ones imagine. The catch? You'll have to visit an Apple store (online or retail) in "select countries," and the use of ARKit for Parker's magic puts a damper on the possibility of Android support in the immediate future.

Source: Seedling


YouTube’s iOS app shares videos to iMessage with ease

You'd think YouTube's iOS app would have had iMessage sharing early on, but no -- sharing clips to Apple's official messaging client has been a cumbersome affair. Not so after today, however. YouTube has quietly updated the app with a direct-to-Messages sharing option. Tap that and you can quickly send a clip to a friend. The video will play directly in the Messages app, too, so recipients don't have to leave chat to start watching. It's a simple addition, but it promises to make life decidedly easier if you frequently express yourself with funny cat videos.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: App Store


Apple releases kernel source code tuned for mobile chips

Ever since the first version of OS X, Apple has regularly released the kernel source code for Macs. In theory, you could learn from it or even build your own projects from it. For iOS, though? Not so simple. Even if you had source code, it wouldn't matter much unless it was optimized for the ARM-based chips that you see in most phones and mobile tablets. However, Apple is shaking things up a bit. The company has quietly posted ARM-friendly source code for the XNU kernels used in iOS and macOS. That's particularly relevant if you're interested in iOS, since you now have code that would theoretically run on an iPhone or iPad. However, it's not quite the breakthrough move it seems at first blush.

To start: this is just the kernel, the low-level code that governs the most critical functions. It doesn't cover the interface, developer frameworks or apps... that is, the parts that truly define iOS or macOS. Those elements are still closed off, so you would have to build most of the platform from scratch. You won't see iOS on a Galaxy S8 any time soon. Apple also offers a relatively limited source code license that isn't as flexible as, say, the GPL license used for Linux.

Moreover, while the presence of ARM-based Mac code is bound to raise eyebrows, this doesn't mean that you're about to see a MacBook with an A11 Bionic chip inside. Apple has a long history of writing code for other architectures "just in case" (the PowerPC-to-Intel transition happened quickly because Apple already had code waiting in the wings), so it might never make the switch. You certainly aren't about to install macOS on your ARM-based Chromebook. And besides, there are rumors of Apple developing ARM-based companion chips for Macs. It may need ARM code even if it has no intention of ditching Intel for CPUs.

All the same, it's a welcome move. This gives app and OS developers a better sense of how Apple tackles basic system tasks, particularly on iOS. And yes, anyone ambitious enough to write a full operating system could use XNU as a starting point. It's just not going to change the status quo for Apple.

Via: Reddit

Source: GitHub, Apple Open Source