7 Tips to Shoot Perfect Videos on iPhone

Apple’s iPhone has become a staple of modern-day photography. But while the iPhone can shoot impressive still images, the device can also record stunning video. It’s certainly not perfect, but the iPhone is a great tool for videography — particularly because it’s small, convenient and probably already with you. Press the right arrow to learn 7 tips to help you record iPhone videos like a professional.

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Apple Named World’s Most Valuable Brand Fifth Year in a Row

Apple has been named the world’s most valuable brand of 2017 by global brand consultancy firm Interbrand. Apple’s 2017 ranking marks the fifth consecutive year that it has held onto the position.

The company’s brand valuation rose to $ 184 billion, up 3 percent from last year, according to Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” 2017 report.

Google placed second with a valuation of $ 142 billion, while Microsoft ranked third with a rough value just under $ 80 billion.

Coca-Cola and Amazon rounded out the top five, with $ 70 billion and $ 65 billion valuations, respectively.

But while Apple has managed to fend off other tech giants like Google and Microsoft for the top spot for several years, Interbrand notes that the company’s growth rate is slowing down overall. It first fell to 21 percent in 2014, and down to 5 percent last year.

Best Global Brands 2017


Top Growing Brands

Interbrand also tracks quickly growing companies under its “Top Growing” category — which was previously dubbed “Top Risers.” Facebook, which achieved eighth place overall, ranked first on that list, with an impressive 48 percent valuation jump from the previous year. Amazon, Adobe, Adidas and Starbucks rounded out the “Top Growing” companies this year.

Apple was once a “Top Growing” brand, too — most recently in 2015, when the company saw a 43 percent boost due to strong iPhone 6 sales and services revenue. It also ranked high in Top Risers when it overtook Coca-Cola as the world’s most valuable brand in 2013.

The global consultancy firm considers a range of factors when determining a brand’s cumulative value, including financial performance for branded products and services, a brand’s strength in influencing customer decision, and the ability for a brand to command a premium price for its wares.

Interbrand’s list isn’t the only one to rank global brands. Earlier this year, Forbes released its seventh annual “World’s Most Valuable Brands” list. Apple took first place in the Forbes list for the seventh year in a row.

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iOS 11 Patches a Critical Security Flaw Discovered in iOS 10

If you needed another reason to update to iOS 11, here’s one: security researchers have discovered a critical vulnerability in iOS 10 that could allow hackers to hijack an iPhone over Wi-Fi networks.

The flaw was first discovered by Gal Beniamini, a researcher with Google Project Zero. The vulnerability exists in devices with Broadcom Wi-Fi chips, which includes iPhones, Galaxy smartphones, and a wide range of other devices. It can allow an attacker to remotely take control of a user’s smartphone over local Wi-Fi connections.

All that’s needed for an attacker to hijack a handset is the device’s MAC address — which is easy enough to obtain over local networks. It’s a serious threat to iPhone and Android owners, and to hammer home the risk it could pose to users, Beniamini published a proof-of-concept exploit to demonstrate its danger. Researchers have tested the exploit in iOS 10.2, but believe that all versions including iOS 10.3.3 are similarly at risk.

Beniamini informed Broadcom of the flaw, and also privately reported the vulnerability to Google’s bug-reporting system in August, The Hacker News reported.

The flaw only exists on Broadcom Wi-Fi chips running the BCM4355C0 firmware version — which is used across a plethora of smartphones, smart TVs and set-top boxes like the Apple TV. As users can’t readily tell which firmware version that their devices are running, it’s recommended that all iPhone users upgrade to iOS 11.

The vulnerability has been patched in Apple’s latest software, according to release notes on iOS 11’s and tvOS 11’s security content. Google also appears to have fixed the issue for its Pixel and Nexus devices, though users of other Android handsets will need to wait for their particular manufacturers to push an update out.

This isn’t the first time that Broadcom Wi-Fi chips have been plagued by serious security issues. Beniamini discovered a similar flaw in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi SoC in April. And another security researcher discovered a critical vulnerability dubbed BroadPwn over the summer.

If you’re on a compatible iPhone, it’s strongly recommended that you update to iOS 11 or tvOS 11 as soon as possible.

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New iPhone X Home, Lock Screen Details Revealed in Xcode 9.1

Apple on Wednesday issued a new Xcode 9.1 beta that adds support for new operating systems, including iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1. In addition, the new development environment update shows off a bit more of the iPhone X experience.

Xcode 9.1 features a more fleshed-out iPhone X simulator, including demonstrations of the new Lock and Home screen. Additionally, the update comes with a series of onboarding videos for various tasks on the iPhone X.

The Lock screen features a few new surprises that Apple didn’t mention during its September event. For starters, the iconic Lock screen text has been changed to “Swipe up to open.”

The home indicator/gesture bar at the bottom of the display will also gently animate to suggest to users how they’ll unlock an iPhone in lieu of a Home button.

There’s also a prominently placed icon for Control Center in the upper-right corner. On the iPhone X, users will swipe down from this corner to access the revamped interface. Xcode 9.1 doesn’t feature a working Control Center, but the statusbar will apparently disappear and will be replaced by status indicators placed below the sensor notch.

Reportedly, there will also be dedicated Camera and Flashlight buttons near the home indicator at the bottom of the display, which will be accessible via a firm 3D Touch press.

As far as the Home screen, not a whole lot has changed. Apple has done away with the old-style iOS dock in favor of an unattached iPad-like dock with rounded corners. Of course, due to the smaller display compared to the iPad, the Dock is still limited to four apps on the new iPhone.

There’s also the aforementioned onboarding videos, which Brazilian developer Guilherme Rambo shared via Twitter. They’ll introduce iPhone X users to the new UI interactions, such as the various swipe gestures and remapped side button controls. You can see those videos below.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X will begin on Oct. 27. The premium OLED handset will then hit store shelves and ship out to customers on Nov. 3 — though many anaylsts predict that the device will be in short supply until next year.

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Apple to Launch Premium TV Series Akin to ‘Game of Thrones’

Apple is continuing its strong push into the original TV content market, according to a recent feature in the Hollywood Reporter detailing the company’s plans and efforts.

Reportedly, Apple is being “inundated” with spec scripts and packaged projects as the company looks to create its own offering of high-end, “prestige” TV content. According to several sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the company is looking specifically for “big, smart, splashy dramas” akin to Game of ThronesBreaking Bad or The Crown.

The tech giant’s Los Angeles-based executives have apparently been spotted all over Hollywood meeting with agents and studio executives. Among Apple’s L.A. team are Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, two former Sony executives poached by the company earlier this year to head its TV content division.

Cupertino isn’t looking to “replicate the pace or scale” of rivals like Netflix, which spends about $ 6 billion annually on original content. But the company is steadily edging in on the TV and movie business, as multiple reports over the last few months indicate. And the talent is already lining up.

“There’s this sense of, ‘It’s the most innovative company in the world, of course you want to have a show there,’” UTA TV’s Matt Rice told the Reporter. UTA TV is just one of several agencies sending scripts and projects to Apple for consideration.

While Apple is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, its Culver City-based studio has already “leap-frogged” much of its competition. Several agents told The Hollywood Reporter that a project that might be pitched to Netflix or HBO is now being taken to Apple, as well. Part of its “overnight” credibility might be due to the established reputation of Van Amburg and Erlicht. Alternatively, it might be Apple’s own clout in the tech world or its comparatively deep pockets.

The company isn’t looking to sacrifice quality for haste, however. While Apple is still being “deluged with nearly every script in town,” Apple’s TV team has passed on most of them. On the other hand, some of the projects still being considered include a reboot of Steve Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and a drama headed by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

But Apple’s unique position in Hollywood has many in the industry asking tough questions — particularly where and how Apple’s premium content will be streamed. Others are proposing theories that Apple could use every available asset — from Apple Store screens to iPhones — to market its original content. For the most part, many of these questions have remained unanswered. Apple, ever secretive with its plans, declined to comment.

Chris Silbermann, managing director at talent agency ICM Partners, said that Apple needs to “articulate to the creative community and the industry at large” its strategies on marketing, release and distribution. “Simply, what does it mean to be an Apple show?” Silbermann said.

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Analyst Says ‘Bleak’ iPhone 8, 8 Plus Launch Was Highly Exaggerated

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sales are doing well and are in line with expectations, according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.

That’s obviously contrary to the bleak picture that many analysts and media analysts painted of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launch weekend. News outlets said that lines were noticeably shorter on launch day, and data from engagement platform Localytics suggested that adoption of the two new devices was much slower than average. But Kuo wrote in a research note distributed to clients Tuesday that reports of underwhelming sales have largely been exaggerated and overplayed by an “excessively negative” market.

Kuo agreed that the shorter lines and seemingly slower sales were due in part to the delayed iPhone X launch, but added that Apple is likely expecting a 50/50 split in demand between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. With the iPhone X’s launch taken into consideration, Kuo contends, sales of the other two devices are actually in line with Apple’s production plans. This lines up with consumer demand since adoption of the iPhone 8 lineup is roughly half that of the iPhone 6s and 7 launches. The other half will be made up by the iPhone X.

“At first glance, the combined first-week adoption rate for the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus might appear low (about half that of iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus),” Kuo wrote. “However, this is due to the fact that the iPhone X is not included, not because iPhone 8 / 8 Plus first weekend sales have been weak.”

Part of the reason for the market’s negativity, Kuo adds, is that analysts are overly reliant on sales data for unlocked and SIM-free channels, like Apple Stores, rather than sales via carriers. While Kuo indicated that lines outside of Apple retail outlets were indeed shorter, demand for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was much more stable from carrier and contract channels.

Part of the reason for that, Kuo said, is that the people who stand in line to purchase new devices straight from an Apple Store are “presumably hardcore Apple fans and heavy users.” Those are the type of people who are likely holding out for the premium iPhone X. That could have contributed to the perceived lack of excitement for the iPhone 8 lineup.

KGI Securities’ research also indicated that demand for the larger iPhone 8 Plus is higher than the standard-sized iPhone 8. This corroborates data from Localytics, who reported that — though sales were lower overall — the iPhone 8 Plus saw the highest first-weekend adoption rate of any Plus-model iPhone to date.

But while sales of the iPhone 8 lineup are on track with exceptions, Kuo warned that the shipment momentum could begin to slip and that sales need to be closely monitored as the iPhone X launch looms.

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Chinese Govt. Blocks WhatsApp to Further Control Its Internet Users

China’s Communist Party has blocked most of WhatsApp, a popular messaging app with over one billion users worldwide and the last Facebook product to operate freely in China, according to The New York Times.

WhatsApp users behind China’s “Great Firewall” encountered temporary disruptions to service in the past few months which prevented them from sending photos, voice, and video messages. The latest crackdown comes in advance of a major Communist Party meeting in October during which a leadership reshuffle is anticipated to occur. President Xi Jinping, who has expanded China’s government censorship system in the name of maintaining the nation’s “cyber sovereignty”, is widely expected to retain his leadership spot.

It’s unclear whether the ban is related to the meeting and whether it will be permanent. As of Sunday evening, everything including WhatsApp’s text messaging service has been blocked throughout much of mainland China, joining Instagram and the Facebook social platform, which have been inaccessible in the mainland for years.

“Essentially, it seems that what we initially monitored as censorship of WhatsApp’s photo, video and voice note sharing capabilities in July has now evolved to what appears to be consistent text messaging blocking and throttling across China,” Nadim Kobeissi, a security researcher at Symbolic Software, said to The Verge.

The ban marks a setback for Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has sought to expand his reach in the world’s most populous nation and paid a highly publicized visit to China’s propaganda chief last year.

A Facebook spokesperson has said “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways”.

WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014, provides secure communication channels via end-to-end encryption, ensuring that no one except the participants of an exchange have access to a conversation. The New York Times conjectures that WhatsApp’s strong security protocols may have ultimately attracted the unwanted attention of Chinese censors, who tolerate less secure communications services like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime that are easier to monitor.

In any case, it’s likely that the disruption to WhatsApp will push Chinese users to WeChat, a homegrown messaging service that, with 963 million users, is not only vastly more popular, but also allows routine government monitoring of users’ conversations.

“By blocking WhatsApp, the authorities have shut down one of the few remaining free and encrypted messaging apps but, more importantly, they have also limited the ability for Chinese to have private conversations with their peers,” a Chinese censorship researcher going by the pseudonym Charlie Smith, said in an e-mail to The Guardian, in July when China partially blocked WhatsApp’s video, photo, and voice sharing services.

“While the internet freedom community continues to develop unique and innovative circumvention tools we are doing very little to fight the climate of fear that Xi Jinping has manufactured in China”, he continued.

Beyond limiting access to encrypted communications for privacy-minded users in China, the move has disrupted the day-to-day operations of businesses quartered there as well.

“Losing contact with my clients, forced back to the age of telephone and email for work now,” one user, cited by The New York Times, complained on Weibo. “Even WhatsApp is blocked now? I’m going to be out of business soon,” said another Weibo user.

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Apple TV 4K Appears on Amazon Hinting Prime Video Is Imminent

The new Apple TV 4K was listed on Amazon briefly, prior to being taken down, after a nearly two-year hiatus from the online retail platform. And while the set-top box is no longer available, its short-lived appearance is still significant.

While seemingly unrelated, the appearance of Apple’s set-top box on Amazon suggests that the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV will be released in the near future. Apple first vaguely announced in June that the Prime app would be coming to tvOS 11 “this year.” Earlier this month, Apple said that the app is still on the way — but didn’t give out any additional details. Now, it seems, the official release date is imminent.

To understand why it’s important to look at the recent history between the two companies. In October 2015, Amazon pulled the Apple TV and Google Chromecast from its virtual shelves since they did not support the retailer’s Prime app. According to Amazon, the decision was made in order to avoid confusing customers about the compatibility of those streaming platforms with Amazon’s first-party content service.

Apple was criticized after the fact for not allowing Prime Video on its tvOS platform, but Apple later told BuzzFeed that “all are welcome” on its Apple TV platform. Cupertino added that Amazon simply never submitted a Prime app to tvOS — interesting because Prime Video has been available on iOS for some time. Of course, the Apple TV and other set-top boxes directly compete with Amazon’s own Fire TV streaming platform.

Now, it seems, the two tech giants have resolved their differences. Amazon Prime Video is coming to tvOS, and the appearance of Apple TV on the retailer’s site suggests that it’ll be released sooner than later.

As for when exactly, there’s still no hard date. An admittedly sketchy rumor from earlier this week suggested that it could launch alongside the addition of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games to the Prime video platform — slated for this Thursday. Take that rumor with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that Amazon customers probably won’t have to wait too long to stream Prime Video content on Apple TV.

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iOS 11.0.1 Released with Outlook, Exchange Email Bug Fix

iOS 11.0.1 was seeded to the general public the morning of September 26, exactly one week after iOS 11.0.0 was officially released.

iOS 11.0.1 is most importantly a security update, but also provides bug fixes to enhance the user experience of the operating system. While Apple did not disclose the specific security threats that iOS 11.0.1 patches, we do know of at least one particular problem iOS 11.0.1 addresses: an issue with the Mail app sending e-mails using Exchange/Outlook servers.

According to ArsTechnica, “the Exchange e-mail server bug that prevented sending e-mails for many users relying on e-mail accounts hosted on Outlook.com, Office 365, or certain Exchange Server 2016 configurations,” has been fixed. Before the update, “users received an error message saying, ‘Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server.’”

If you’ve experienced issues with your Mail app, sending or receiving e-mail, it’s important to update to the latest version of iOS.

Beyond the most recent update, iOS 11 adds a revamped Control Center with customizable shortcuts and a new Lock screen that’s been merged with the Notification Center. The next-gen software also adds several upgrades to Siri, including a completely new voice that is much more natural-sounding. Additionally, iOS 11 will introduce a real-time translation feature and other hefty upgrades to the digital assistant. It also marks the general release of ARKit, meaning that iOS 11 is now the largest augmented reality platform in the world. Other additions include a slew of updates to native apps, a Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, and built-in screen recording.

How to Download iOS 11.0.1

iOS 11.0.1 is available to download on devices including the iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.

  1. Prepare your iPhone for iOS 11, if you haven’t yet.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Software update.
  5. Press Download and Install, then follow the onscreen instructions.

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4 Things Users Hate About the iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus undoubtedly improve on a lot of key features compared to their predecessors, particularly in processing power and camera quality. But the new iPhone lineup is not without its faults, and at times, some of their features feel like slight downgrades. Press the right arrow to learn four things users hate about the iPhone 8.

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