Edward Snowden may be in exile from the U.S., but that doesn’t seem to be slowing him down.
Snowden, who once met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the NSA’s secrets and famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices’ microphones or cameras, has released plans to announce a prototype for a device that could stop this kind of surveillance.
On Thursday at the MIT Media Lab, Snowden and well-known hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang plan to present designs for a case-like device that wires into your iPhone’s guts to monitor the electrical signals sent to its internal antennas and they say it could offer a constant check on whether your phone’s radios are transmitting. They say it’s an infinitely more trustworthy method of knowing your phone’s radios are off than “airplane mode,” which people have shown can be hacked and spoofed.
In short, this could stop the transmission and thus better protect the user’s privacy.
The good news is that Intel announced its seventh-generation Core processors during yesterday’s second quarter earnings call yesterday.
The bad news is that the processors, known as “Kaby Lake”, which are made via a 14-nanometer process, might not see the Mac until 2017.
Intel’s last two chip releases have been plagued with long delays, and moving away from the tick-tock cycle will allow it to push out new chip updates on a regular basis. Apple’s Macs, such as the Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac, have been impacted by Intel’s chip delays over the last few years, resulting in long periods of time between updates and unusual update cycles.
On Thursday, Apple was hit with yet another class action lawsuit, the suit alleging that the company has been replacing damaged devices under AppleCare+ with refurbished units. This isn’t the first suit of its kind in this regard and similar suits have been filed in the past.
This lawsuit, filed today in California, accuses Apple of not holding true to the AppleCare+ contract, which states that devices replaced as part of the program are the “equivalent to new in performance and reliability.” The lawsuit was initiated by Vicky Maldonado and Joanne McRight.
It’s a rumor, but it’s got some interesting elements to it.
Following Apple’s acquisition of LinX Imaging last year, Apple could be in line to use the Huawei P9 dual-lens camera system in its next-gen iPhone. The P9, created in a partnership with Leica, users two 12-megapixel cameras. One camera captures a normal color image, while the second takes a monochrome image that allows for more focus on the lighting of a scene. The advantage, Huawei claims, is a better overall image with higher clarity and professional camera-like quality.
Apple may be dropping Samsung as the manufacturer for its next-gen iPhone processors in favor of TSMC.
Back in February, it was rumored that TSMC would be the sole supplier of the A10 chip in the iPhone 7. A new report from Korea claims that the same is true of the A11 chip destined for next year’s iPhone.
At present, TSMC is already the exclusive provider of the A10 chip slated to power the next-gen iPhone. TSMC is also rumored to be the sole supplier for the A11 processor for future iOS devices.
On Thursday, a set of leaked pictures shows an alleged iPhone 7. While there’s a chance this might be a clone that tends to emerge before a new iPhone launch, a video posted on Chinese website Weibo shows a similar design to previous leaks.
The device in the video below shows many of the characteristics we’ve seen in previous photos allegedly showing next-gen iPhone components. Most notably, those include a larger camera opening — the iPhone 7 is rumored to include a new and improved camera system —the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, and redesigned antenna lines that are repositioned from across the back of the device to along the edge.
Other leaks have shown an even larger camera opening than the one shown in the video as well as other features like a Smart Connector and the removal of the classic mute switch. The larger camera opening could possibly be reserved for the dual-camera system expected to arrive on only some of the new models. In the video, the mute switch is once again present.
Per a series of pictures released on Chinese social media website Weibo, the latest iPhone 7 photos appear to show a very similar design to the iPhone 6s Plus … with the interesting addition of a Smart Connector, visible at the bottom of the device on the back side.
In addition to previous rumors, a new rumor has sprung up about a flush capacitive Home button for the next-gen iPhone, albeit details are still murky.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the new photos of the iPhone 7 Plus do not include a mute switch. A toggle to enable and disable the ringer cannot be seen in its usual location above the volume buttons. This is the first time the removal of the mute switch has been floated for consideration, albeit the source is still considered murky at this point.
With roughly eight weeks before the next iPhone debut, a newly-leaked image shows the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 back casing. The most obvious change is the redesigned antenna lines. Rather than extending lengthways across the main body of the phone like the current iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 antenna lines are sleeker and smaller. As shown in the picture, the white antenna lines are only visible at the top and bottom edges of the device.
The photo also highlights changes to the camera system as well. The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 seems to incorporate about a 25 percent wider camera hole, meaning a revised or updated camera will probably be used.
As of now, it’s unknown as to whether the new camera will incorporate more megapixels or allow in more light to take better photos. The 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus is rumored to feature a dual-camera component system which will take even better photos thanks to the larger sensors. One rumor indicated that the Plus’ dual-cameras are a set of twin 12 megapixel sensors.
It’s looking less likely that the next-gen iPhone will feature a traditional 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.
Amidst rumors that Apple will remove the headphone jack, supplier Cirrus Logic this week announced the release of a new development kit that will enable companies to make Made for iPhone-certified Lightning headphones.
The development kit is geared towards helping to transition products away from the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack toward Apple’s digital Lightning connector. Using the kit, manufacturers will have an easier path to migrating existing products to deliver audio over Lightning.
Apple may be looking to introduce Force Touch features to the home button on the next-gen iPhone.
Citing a report released by analysts at Cowen and Company, a number of supply chain “field checks” have indicated that Apple may do away with a physical home button, instead adopting a home button that sits flush with the phone.
Apple’s Force Touch technology will reportedly be built into the home button to provide haptic feedback when pressed, much like the Force Touch trackpad on Apple’s most recent MacBooks. With haptic feedback, iPhone users would still feel the sensation of pressing on the home button even without a button to actually depress.