iPhone 6 optical image stabilization, NFC systems may be vulnerable to interference from strong magnets

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Date: Monday, December 15th, 2014, 11:37
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

senoriphone6

A powerful magnet can still screw up your day.

Or your iPhone 6′s camera stabilization and NFC systems.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users have noticed issues with the iPhone 6 Plus camera and NFC on both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the cause of the problem — interference from magnets and metal components in accessories — isn’t well documented.

The cause of the issue has been noticed by a small number of users online, and Apple does briefly warn users to avoid accessories that use magnets or metal components in a support document that was quietly updated in the months following the launch of the new iPhones. But it’s not something most users are aware of when purchasing accessories that might end up causing problems for their new iPhone.

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Gift Guide 2014: AudioEngine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker

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Date: Monday, December 15th, 2014, 11:19
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, Hardware, music, Review

AudioEngine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker

If you’re looking for a compact Bluetooth speaker I recommend the AudioEngine B2 ($299). The B2 sounds great and has better range than other speakers I’ve tested because of its antenna and specially tuned transmitter. In a two-story, mostly stucco and brick house my iPhone 6 easily reached the B2 speaker on the second floor when I was on the first.

The B2 includes the aptX audio decoder and a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a beautiful, warm sound. The hand-built walnut cabinet is luxurious and dual front slots really pump the bass. I just wish that it had a battery so that I could toss it in a bag and drag it to the beach.

You can purchase the B2 Bluetooth Speaker in walnut (pictured), zebrawood or black ash from the AudioEngine website.

[Despite my aforementioned problems with Apple’s Bluetooth stack, I was still able to keep a reliable connection to the B2 speaker for over an hour. And to be clear, I think that that’s Apple’s problem and not AudioEngine’s.]

A picture of the backplane after the jump.

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Rumor: A9 processor production underway, Samsung could handle 100% of orders

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Date: Friday, December 12th, 2014, 13:52
Category: Hardware, Processors, Rumor, Uncategorized

a9processor

Despite years of legal acrimony between Apple and Samsung, there’s still money to be made in processor manufacturing.

Per 9to5Mac and Korea’s Electronic Times, industry insiders have stated that Samsung Electronics began production of Apple’s A9 in the Austin plant in the US using the 14nm FinFET technology. Samsung has production lines capable of FinFET process production in Austin, US and Giheung, Korea, but began to produce A9 only in Austin as it is in the initial stage.

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Bluetooth Special Interest Group announces 4.2 spec, introduces speed and privacy improvements

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Date: Thursday, December 4th, 2014, 09:54
Category: Hardware, News, Software, Uncategorized

bluetooth

Some nifty changes are coming to Bluetooth.

Per 9to5Mac, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced an updated Bluetooth spec, version 4.2, that introduces a number of new features alongside enhancements to speed and privacy. The update also allows for Bluetooth over IPv6, which along with an upcoming update will allow devices to have a direct connection to the Internet and open up new possibilities for Bluetooth sensors and other accessories.

“In addition to the improvements to the specification itself, a new profile known as IPSP enables IPv6 for Bluetooth, opening entirely new doors for device connectivity,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Bluetooth Smart is the only technology that can scale with the market, provide developers the flexibility to innovate, and be the foundation for the IoT.”

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Apple exploring VR gaming, user interfaces via Oculus, Leap-focused job listings

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Date: Thursday, December 4th, 2014, 09:58
Category: Hardware, News

riftheadset

It’s the job postings that show where Apple’s going next.

Per 9to5Mac, following a series of job listings that indicated that Apple was looking to hire app engineers to build virtual reality experiences and “cinematic user interfaces” for future Apple products, some new details have surfaced. Apple has several new job listings on its website that give us more details about what it plans for virtual reality including a big focus on gaming. One job listing, for instance, is looking for a Game Engineer with experience in virtual reality and the latest game engines to “develop software combining state-of-the-art physics-based world simulation, visuals and Virtual Reality to enable Apple’s development of next-generation product.”

Another job listing seeking an app engineer hints again at gaming by requiring someone familiar with development on third-party virtual reality platforms Oculus Rift and Leap Motion.

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Apple patent explores Gorilla Glass 4, “fall sensor” for next-gen iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, 18:20
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents

senoriphone6

Gorilla Glass 4 and a new motion sensor might be the thing that saves your iOS devices from nicks, dents and scratches in the future.

Per Macworld and Forbes, Apple has recently published a patent that covers a “protective mechanism for an electronic device” that would use a motion sensor to tell the processor when your phone is in a freefall. The processor would then “alter the center of mass of the electronic device” so your phone wouldn’t fall on its most sensitive parts like the screen or camera.

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Rumor: 12-2-inch “iPad Air Plus” could feature A9 processor, launch between April and June of 2015

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Date: Monday, December 1st, 2014, 09:51
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

ipadair2display

It’s a rumor at this point, but an interesting one.

Per MacRumors, Japanese magazine Mac Fan has published some possible schematics depicting the design of the larger-screened “iPad Pro” or “iPad Air Plus” in its January issue, which have been shared by Mac Otakara along with some information about the upcoming device.

The schematics suggest the tablet will include a 12.2-inch LCD display, and it points towards dimensions of 305.31mm x 220.8mm x 7mm, or 12 inches x 8.7 inches x 0.28 inches, which is in line with previous rumors about the larger tablet. Many rumors have suggested a size of 12.9-inches for the larger tablet, but this is the second report from Mac Otakara that has suggested the device will have a 12.2-inch display.

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Rumor: Apple to discontinue iPhone 5c production in early 2015

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Date: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, 10:41
Category: Hardware, iPhone, retail

iphone5ccompare

Apple may be shedding the iPhone 5c in 2015.

Per MacRumors and Taiwan’s Industrial and Commercial Times, Apple is slated to discontinue the iPhone 5c in 2015. Production of the handset is said to be stopping in the middle of the year, as Apple suppliers Wistron and Foxconn will look to wind down production of the device. The news follows a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this week which noted that production of the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 4S would end later in 2015 after promotional plans.

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iPhone 6, 6 Plus owners cite easily scratched screens

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Date: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014, 09:22
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

senoriphone6

Just as soon as “Bendgate” seemed to die down, a number of iPhone 6 owners are complaining that their screens are receiving slight surface scratches more readily than the screens of previous models, some alleging flaws in material and design.

According to AppleInsider, multiple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users have taken to Apple’s Support Communities forum to report issues with the handset’s display cover glass, which they claim is more prone to scratching than previous iPhone models.

The thread, now at over 103,000 views and 626 replies, started on Sep. 23 with user jake.underwood26 saying his iPhone 6 Plus exhibited visible scratching near the display’s corners after “extremely” good care. Apple’s latest iPhone generation went on sale four days earlier on Sep. 19.

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WALTR developers discover A8 processor in iPhone 6, 6 Plus capable of playing 4K video

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Date: Monday, November 24th, 2014, 09:09
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Processors

a8xchip

There’s a lot to be said for the A8 processor in the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets.

According to MacRumors and the developers of the WALTR music app, the dual-core A8 chip powering Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively.

4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that’s designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback.

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