Developers uncover hints as to HomePod’s RAM, display specifications in latest firmware update

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Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2017, 05:24
Category: Amazon, Developer, Google, Hardware, HomePod, News

Deep within Apple’s firmware update for the upcoming HomePod, some of the critical specs have been found.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith shared last week that HomePod will run a full iOS stack and uses a shell app called SoundBoard. He also mentioned more specifics about the display/touch surface stating “The center part of the HomePod surface appears to be an LED matrix and not just big LEDs—could perhaps display shapes/symbols.”

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Updated HomePod firmware hints at facial recognition for next-gen iPhone

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Date: Monday, July 31st, 2017, 05:02
Category: Developer, HomePod, iOS, News, Software, Touch ID

It turns out that the newest HomePod firmware update dropped some hints as to what to expect with the next-gen iPhone.

The firmware, which will run a version of iOS, corresponds to iOS 11.0.2.

Developer Steven Troughton-Smith dug into the firmware and its BiometricKit framework that is currently home to Touch ID authentication, supporting claims that the iPhone 8 will rely at least in part on facial recognition.

Within BiometricKit are new “FaceDetect” methods addressing such circumstances as faces being too close or too far from the camera, the presence of multiple faces, and more.

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Developer comments on newly-released HomePod firmware, points out new interface changes

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Date: Monday, July 31st, 2017, 05:41
Category: Developer, HomePod, iOS, News, Siri, Software

Late Friday, Apple released firmware for its upcoming HomePod smart speaker system to the developer community.

Not long after, developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed the following details about the new firmware:

HomePod firmware code (labeled AudioAccessory1,1) shows that the smart speaker runs the full iOS stack like an iPhone without a screen and relies on a shell app called SoundBoard (presumably like SpringBoard on iOS).

Like Apple’s other products, HomePod will support accessibility features including VoiceOver according to the firmware code.

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Wikileaks publishes two more Mac-specific exploits from CIA Vault 7 files

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Date: Friday, July 28th, 2017, 05:49
Category: Hacks, News, security, Software

If you’re interested in security, you’ll like this.

Wikileaks has just Wikileaks published two more Mac exploits from the so-called CIA Vault 7 under the name Project Imperial. The new exploits—Achilles and SeaPea—affect older versions of OS X, such as Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

The exploits behave as follows:

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Apple discontinues iPod nano, iPod Shuffle, reduces iPod touch price to $199

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Date: Friday, July 28th, 2017, 05:40
Category: iPod, iPod Nano, iPod shuffle, iPod Touch, News, retail

The iPod nano and iPod Shuffle are no more.

Early Thursday, Apple removed the iPod nano and iPod shuffle from both its web site and online store around the world. The company confirmed that the units have been discontinued, but continues to sell the iPod touch with updated pricing and storage, including a 32GB model for $199 and 128GB model for $299.

For now, it appears the iPod nano and iPod shuffle are still available to purchase at many Apple Stores and other resellers, but that likely won’t be the case for too much longer. In the United States, the latest iPod nano started at $149 with 16GB of storage, while the iPod shuffle cost $49 with 2GB of storage.

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Rumor: Next-gen iPhone could be delayed until Q1 2018, might not be available in white color, facial recognition “highly likely”

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Date: Thursday, July 27th, 2017, 05:47
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

With the launch of the next-gen iPhone en route, a rumor from Macotakara cites possible delays and initial supply shortages of the handset. The report explains that the “premium model” will likely be unveiled alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but its release will likely be delayed to near the end of 2017.

The report states that the release “has the possibility” of slipping to the first half of Apple’s Q1 2018, which runs from October through December.

It’s also been rumored that the next-gen iPhone will not arrive in a white color option. While the specifics of this rumor are unclear, sources close to the early production line have said that it is “not possible” to have the new iPhone arrive in white, thereby suggesting less of a color variety than with previous models.

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New TSA policy requires U.S. passengers to remove iPads, MacBooks from carry-on bags for scanning

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Date: Thursday, July 27th, 2017, 05:26
Category: Hardware, iPad, Legal, MacBook, News

Per a new policy issued by the Transportation Safety Administration on Wednesday, over the coming weeks and months, passengers will no longer be able to keep their iPads or smaller MacBook notebooks in their bags when passing through security screenings. Instead, the devices will have to be placed in a separate bin to be x-rayed.

The new policy states that “all electronics larger than a cell phone” will be subject to this scrutiny.

Previously, Apple’s ultra-thin iPad, as well as the MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook, were given approval to stay in a bag when being scanned.

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Adobe announces “end of life” date for Flash Player at end of 2020

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Date: Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 05:10
Category: Apple, Developer, Google, iOS, iPad, Microsoft, News, Software

Adobe’s Flash Player now has an end date: the end of 2020.

Adobe says it’s working with companies including Apple and Google to prepare for the upcoming death of Flash, as quoted here:

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

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USB Promoter Group announces USB 3.2 protocol, cites improved data transfer speeds via existing cables

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Date: Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 05:52
Category: Hardware, News, USB-C

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, comprising Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and other companies, today introduced an upcoming USB 3.2 specification, which will eventually replace the existing USB 3.1 specification upon release.

While the increase is relatively incremental, the group stated that the USB 3.2 protocol will allow for either two lanes of 5Gb/s or two lanes of 10Gb/s operation.

With support for two lanes of 10Gb/s transfer speeds, performance is essentially doubled over existing USB-C cables.

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Apple offering newer MacBook Pro models as replacements for some 2012, 2013 MacBook Pro models requiring battery replacement

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Date: Tuesday, July 25th, 2017, 05:41
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, retail

This could be pretty nifty.

In the wake of what appears to be a severe constraint of top case assemblies with integrated batteries, Apple has informed its Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers it is currently unable to service the batteries of 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display models released in Mid 2012 and Early 2013.

The battery replacement is typically free of charge with an AppleCare+ plan, but can retail for $199 in the United States, £199 in the UK, or $259 in Canada for out-of-warranty replacements.

According to Apple’s internal directive, top case assemblies with batteries for the aforementioned MacBook Pro models will remain severely constrained until September 15, 2017. The directive does not identify a reason for the shortage, which has been ongoing since at least March.

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