Rumor: Apple has disbanded its wireless router division, reassigned personnel to more profitable product groups

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Date: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, 05:37
Category: Hardware, Rumor, wireless

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As much as you love your AirPort router, it may be the last of its kind.

Apple has apparently disbanded its wireless router division, having moved personnel away from this to focus on products that generate more revenue.

Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said sources who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

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Apple possibly throttling data transfer speeds on certain iPhone 7 models

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Date: Monday, November 21st, 2016, 05:48
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Samsung

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The bad news is that Apple may be throttling the LTE performance on the Verizon iPhone 7 to keep it on par with the AT&T model. According to research conducted by Twin Prime and Cellular Insights, the Verizon iPhone 7 performs about as well as the AT&T iPhone 7, but it does not reach the data transfer speeds that it is capable of hitting.

The Verizon (and Sprint) iPhone 7 models use different LTE hardware than the AT&T (and T-Mobile) iPhone 7 models, adopting a Qualcomm LTE modem instead of an Intel LTE modem.

The Qualcomm modem is capable of reaching a maximum theoretical download speeds of 600Mb/s, while the Intel LTE modem tops out at 450Mb/s, but the Qualcomm-equipped Verizon iPhone 7 is only marginally outperforming the AT&T iPhone 7. Researchers believe Apple may be hobbling the Verizon iPhone 7 by not taking advantage of “a crucial component,” thereby ensuring all models of the iPhone 7 perform at a similar level.

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Apple offers $149 repair price for owners of “Touch Disease” iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus units

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Date: Monday, November 21st, 2016, 05:13
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

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Well, this will drive you relatively crazy.

Apple has responded to the “touch disease” issue present in some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units and has offered a reduced repair price of $149 to resolve the issue.

The problem, described in August as “touch disease” by repair guide website iFixit, is characterized by a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen. The issue affects both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

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iPhones secretly storing call data in iCloud, allows later access for law enforcement (Updated)

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Date: Friday, November 18th, 2016, 05:43
Category: iOS, iPhone, privacy, security, Software

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This definitely qualifies as a mess between privacy, security and law enforcement.

While Apple emerged as a guardian of privacy earlier this year, fighting the FBI’s demands to help crack San Bernadino shooter Syed Farouk’s iPhone, implementing improved encryption for all its handsets and refusing to undermine that encryption, it appears that private data is being sent to the iCloud without user consent.

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled — but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.

“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.

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Some newer MacBook Pro units arriving with System Integrity Protection feature disabled

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Date: Friday, November 18th, 2016, 05:06
Category: MacBook Pro, macOS, News, OS X, security, Software

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This is kind of strange.

Since the days of OS X El Capitan, Apple has activated a protection feature called System Integrity Protection, which is designed to keep your Mac safe from malware by restricting the permissions of the root user account and preventing unauthorized access to protected files and folders.

The program runs behind the scenes and is generally enabled by default in Mac running OS X El Capitan. Developer Jonathan Wight noticed that the System Integrity Protection feature has been disabled on newer Macs, prompting developer Steven Troughton-Smith to do an informal Twitter survey asking users about the status of their new machines.

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Rumor: Apple could see OLED supply constraint prior to inclusion in next-gen iPhone

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Date: Thursday, November 17th, 2016, 05:37
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor, Touch Bar, Touch ID

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One popular rumor for the next-gen iPhone is the adoption of OLED screen panels for the handset, especially given that both the Apple Watch and the Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro now use OLED components.

Unfortunately, supply constraints may keep OLED panels further down the road.

A new report says that the four main suppliers for OLED displays won’t have enough production capacity to meet demand next year and further into 2018. This is primarily due to OLED screens being more difficult to produce than LCD panels. Right now, the four top suppliers for OLED panels are Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display. But at this point, Apple expects Samsung to be sole supplier in 2017.

Apple apparently plans to ship at least one new iPhone with an OLED screen next year, the 10th anniversary of the smartphone’s debut according to sources close to the story.

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iFixit completes first Touch Bar-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro teardown, finds interesting new changes in hardware

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Date: Thursday, November 17th, 2016, 05:23
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Touch Bar, Touch ID

The cool cats at iFixit have finished their teardown of the new 13-inch Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro and discovered some neat differences when compared with the MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. First, both 13-inch models have the exact same dimensions, but the Touch Bar machine weighs 20 grams less, which iFixit puts down to the laptop’s smaller battery.

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The new MacBook Pro is not designed to be user-serviceable, which iFixit commented on by giving it a repairability rating of 1/10. During the teardown, the firm found that the internal layout of the components has been redesigned to make space for the new Touch Bar, which broke as it was removed from the chassis and was deemed difficult to replace. The flex cable connecting the Touch Bar to the mainboard also wraps underneath it, making removal even more difficult.

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Google releases PhotoScan app, brings scanning-level features to photography app

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Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, 05:19
Category: Android, Google, iOS, News, Software

This smacks of the spiffy.

Google has just released PhotoScan, its new app for Android and iOS that allows you to scan your prints, eliminate any glare you’d get from taking a picture of them and organize them in digital form.

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The PhotoScan app allows you to take an initial photo of a photo, wherein it recognizes the four corners of the frame and displays circular overlays on each corner of the scanned image. You then point your phone camera at each circle, create a robust scan of the image, and PhotoScan gets to work from there.

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Some iPhone 6, iPhone 6s units experiencing random shutdowns in Chinese marketplace

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Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, 05:40
Category: Apple, battery, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News

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A number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s units have been strangely – and automatically – shutting off over in China.

Recently, iPhone customers in the country have been complaining about the problem to the China Consumers Association, the group said in a statement on Tuesday. The shutdowns occur when the phone’s battery charge drops to between 60 and 50 percent.

The issue continues to persist in spite of updating to the latest version of iOS and has occurred in both cold environments and at room temperature. After the automatic shutdown, the phones will also fail to turn on without connecting to a power supply.

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Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pros sport new AMD GPUs, can drive dual 5K displays

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Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 2016, 05:27
Category: Hardware, Intel, MacBook Pro, News, Processors, Thunderbolt

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Apple apparently dropped a killer GPU into the 2016 Touch Bar-equipped 15-inch MacBook Pro and it shows.

The company, which switched from Intel’s integrated Iris Pro graphics in favor of dedicated AMD graphics, has opted for AMD’s Polaris-based Radeon Pro 450, Radeon Pro 455, and build-to-order Radeon Pro 460 GPUs in the new 15-inch notebooks. The GPUs support up to six displays, whereas Intel’s integrated GPUs affixed to the logic board can drive a total of three displays.

The expanded support enables the new MacBook Pro to drive two of Apple and LG’s new UltraFine 5K displays at 60Hz simultaneously. Intel’s GPUs can’t because, due to bandwidth limitations of the DisplayPort 1.2 spec, the two 5K displays technically function as four displays. This method is known as Multi-Stream Transport (MST).

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