watchOS 4.1 Released with Apple Music, Beats1 Radio and More

While the Apple Watch Series 3 has been available to order for over a month now, it unfortunately launched absent a number of key features that Apple promised its users would come in a future software update. At long last, on Tuesday released to the general public its much anticipated watchOS 4.1 software update, which brings a number of features (including those exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 3), such as Apple Music and Beats1 radio streaming, a new control center toggle for Wi-Fi, compatibility with GymKit and more.

Most notably, watchOS 4.1 will allow Apple Watch Series 3 users to stream content from Apple Music, Beats1 Radio, as well as their personal iCloud music library over either a Wi-Fi or 4G LTE connection. This means, in other words, that Watch S3 users will now be able to stream music and sync their iCloud playlists directly from their Apple Watch even if their iPhone is left at home.

The update also brings a convenient new Wi-Fi toggle to the control center on Apple Watch, allowing users to quickly enable or disable Wi-Fi, and in that way switch between LTE, without having to dig deep into the Settings menu on your wrist. The Wi-Fi toggle is a subtle yet welcomed addition to the watchOS UI, which should definitely help expedite the process of switching between connections on your device.

Additionally, watchOS 4.1 enables GymKit compatibility on the Apple Watch Series 3, enabling users to connect their wearable with ‘compatible equipment’ such as treadmills, ellipticals, or other exercise machines to instantly share workout data, heart rate and other information. It’s an incredibly useful feature which should help those looking to throughly document their time at the gym. Unfortunately, while it may be available in some places, at present, the majority of gym equipment on the market would have to be updated with GymKit compatibility to work with the Apple Watch Series 3.

Fortunately, Apple noted at its September 12th event that a number of exercise equipment manufacturers including Cybex, LifeFitness, and others have a number of GymKit-compatible machines in their product pipelines. So while we have no official word in terms of when or where we might see these new machines, their arrival is definitely something for Watch S3 owners to be on the lookout for.

Last but not least, today’s update delivers a fresh round of bug fixes, stability enhancements, and patches a range of issues previously-known to Apple Watch users, including a fix for the wearable’s heart rate notification interface, haptic feedback, and charging anomalies

How to Install watchOS 4.1

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update and follow the steps listed onscreen.

Remember to ensure that your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi, placed on its charger, and has at least 50% battery life remaining before initiating the update.

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Samsung Is Trying to Outdo Apple’s Genius Bar

Samsung thinks it can do better than Apple’s Genius Bar. Reportedly, the South Korean tech giant is moving forward with a plan that it hopes will prove that it can outdo Apple in brick-and-mortar customer care.

According to Fast Company, Samsung is partnering with co-working startup WeWork to create a series of “Care Centers” that will allow Samsung customers to receive technical support and get their devices repaired. That’s the same basic premise as Apple’s in-store Genius Bars, but Samsung wants to one-up the Apple Store experience.

Unlike Genius Bars, which are built inside Apple’s brick-and-mortar retail outlets, Samsung’s Care Centers will be located in WeWork’s co-working spaces. The idea is that, instead of waiting around at a retail store, customers can get work done while they wait for technical support or repairs. They’ll be able to take ”full advantage” of the co-working environment and even partake in various refreshments.

“Service is a hassle.” Samsung VP of Design Mick McConnell told Fast Company. “The concept was, if I take time out of my day, at least I can sit in a conference room, make phone calls, and do work, as opposed to sitting in a busy room with a bunch of angry people.”

Samsung will actually be taking over portions of WeWork locations, installing stations with shared tables and Samsung workstations. But it doesn’t end at customer service: Samsung also announced that it plans to hold after-hours creative talks at its Customer Care locations — something that echoes what Apple already does at its stores.

Samsung will open three pilot locations at WeWork spaces in Detroit, Miami and Brooklyn later this month. They will offer “tier 1” support and will be able to send devices to repair centers — but no repair services will be available on-site initially.

Of course, even with its Care Centers, Samsung may already be a step behind Apple, who is already in the midst of a worldwide refresh of its retail locations. Indeed, gone are the days of the Apple Store and the Genius Bar — soon, there’ll be Apple Town Squares and Genius Groves.

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iPhone Lineup Won’t Feature Rear-Facing TrueDepth Next Year

Apple isn’t likely to add its TrueDepth Camera technology to the iPhone’s rear-facing camera next year, according to an analyst report on Tuesday.

The TrueDepth system, which is based on infrared sensing and 3D depth mapping technology, enables features such as Face ID and Apple’s new Animoji for the iPhone X’s front-facing, selfie camera. But despite its added benefits, Apple is unlikely to apply the new system to rear-facing cameras on 2018 iPhones, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted.

“Based on aforementioned assumptions, we do not expect 2H18F iPhones to come with rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing, contrary to market expectations,” Kuo wrote in a KGI Securities research note distributed to clients Tuesday.

Despite his forecast, Kuo added that KGI can “agree that a rear TrueDepth Camera/3D sensing can potentially provide more augmented reality (AR applications.” The analyst went on to state that Apple needs to “quickly” resolve two issues if it wants rear-facing TrueDepth, namely:

  1. Fostering the development of both AI and ARKit software and apps, and an AR ecosystem. All of which takes time.
  2. Stabilizing shipments and on-time shipping, both of which are challenging due to the “higher spec requirements of a rear TrueDepth camera.”

Presumably, the complexity of manufacturing and assembling the TrueDepth system could also halt its inclusion within the rear-facing camera system. Its components are complicated and incredibly fragile, and those issues are part of why the iPhone X is both a bit late and in short supply this year, reports indicate.

Kuo did add that, since TrueDepth is years ahead of the company’s Android competition, Apple’s main focus for next year’s iPhones will probably be an on-time launch and an adequate supply of devices. Even without rear-facing TrueDepth, Kuo said that Apple will, unsurprisingly, add other upgrade tech and specifications to next year’s stable of iPhones.

Previous reports suggest that front-facing TrueDepth will be included on all of next year’s iPhone models, as well as the 2018 iPad Pro lineup.

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Can iPhone X’s Face ID Tell the Difference Between Twins?

When Apple unveiled the iPhone X and its Face ID authentication system, it said that — although the platform is incredibly secure — those with evil twins might want to exercise a bit more caution.

All humor aside, whether or not an identical twin could potentially unlock their sibling’s device is a valid question. And it’s one that several publications set out to answer — with conflicting results. For a system that has a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of false authentication, identical twins could be a weak point.

Conflicting Results

Mashable conducted two tests with two separate sets of identical twins. During their testing, one of each twin registered their face with the iPhone X. In both cases, their identical twin was able to bypass the otherwise secure system.

On the other hand, Business Insider conducted a similar test with two identical brothers. In a video posted to their site, their iPhone X review unit was able to tell the difference between the siblings and refused to unlock for the unregistered twin.

The Wall Street Journal put Face ID to the test, too. While the TrueDepth-powered platform wasn’t fooled by fraternal twins, the WSJ’s Joanna Stern took her test up a notch. She tested her iPhone X review unit with the help of 8-year-old identical triplets — who, too, were able to bypass Apple’s recognition system.

Apple does state that children under 13 may also shift the probability of false authentication since their facial features are much more likely to change and develop faster over time. But all in all, that’s a 1-to-3 score for twins beating Face ID.

The Scope of the Issue

There is an argument to be made about the scope of the issue, and whether these tests translate to actual concerns in the real world. Apple never claimed that its Face ID system was perfect, and although it’s much more secure than Touch ID, it’s obviously not above fault.

Even though multiple births are on the rise, true identical twins are a bit more uncommon. There are few hard statistics about how many identical twins there are in the world, but according to the University of Texas, about 32 out of every 1,000 people is a twin — though that covers fraternal twins, too. The number of identical twins is likely much lower.

Bottom Line: Face ID is Still Incredibly Secure

But while identical twins might be a weak spot for Face ID, with most of the testing done thus far, it seems to be one of the only weak spots.

The WSJ’s Joanna Stern, for example, even had a professional-grade, silicon mask of her face, and it couldn’t fool Apple’s facial recognition. That’s notable because the facial authentication system relies on depth-mapping to accurately analyze a face. A silicon mask has depth whereas a picture of a face doesn’t — but neither were able to crack Face ID.

It’s still early in Face ID’s life, too. And the iPhone X isn’t even out yet. These preliminary tests shouldn’t come across as conclusive evidence of the system’s overall security.

With the relative rarity of identical twins, it’s understandable that Apple didn’t design Face ID with built-in twin security as a top priority. And if you really have an evil identical twin with truly malicious intent, it’s probably smart to just use a passcode on your device, anyway.

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Apple’s First iPad with Retina Display Classified Obsolete

Although it was just over five-and-a-half years ago when the late Steve Jobs unveiled his company’s first iPad with Retina display, an internal memo issued to Apple retail stores and authorized service providers last week indicates that the five-year-young tablet will be added to Cupertino’s growing list of vintage and obsolete products, effective October 31, 2017.

What Does ‘Classified Obsolete’ Mean?

Apple has a running list of older products which it’s classified “vintage or obsolete.” These are products that have been in circulation for at least five-years since their initial launch — after which point Apple directs its retail stores and authorized service providers to stop offering repairs and service on them, mainly because, by that time, the components used within them have become obsolete themselves.

MacRumors, who was first to verify the memo and certify its authenticity, noted that both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/3G Cellular variants of the third-generation iPad will be “classified obsolete” in markets around the world — except for in the state of California, and Turkey, as certain legalities affecting the tablet’s warranty status in those regions will stay in place until 2019, the memo notes.

In California, where Apple’s main offices are headquartered, customers will for example be able to receive service on their third-generation iPads by either visiting an Apple Store or calling Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 until further notice.

Apple’s third-generation iPad with Retina display holds the honor of being the company’s last iPad with the old-school 30-pin dock connector, and will be joining the ranks of other retired Apple products, including the original iPad from 2010, an assortment of iPhone models and more.

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Girl’s Hands-On iPhone X Video Got Her Dad Fired from Apple

An Apple engineer was reportedly dismissed from his position on the company’s iPhone development team last week, after it was discovered that his daughter’s iPhone X hands-on video went viral on YouTube.

Brooke Amelia Peterson, the daughter of [former] Apple engineer, Ken Bauer, posted a vlog to her YouTube channel early last week in which she paid a visit to her dad’s workplace at Apple HQ. It was there that Peterson got the chance to spend some (unauthorized) hands-on time with Apple’s unreleased iPhone X flagship.

In a purely unfortunate turn of events, Peterson was back just four days later with another impassioned vlog post, this time claiming that her father was fired from his position at Apple as the result of her video-gone-viral, which quickly circulated the web last week and has been viewed some 1.5 million times on YouTube so far.

Peterson explains in her follow-up vlog post that her dad “violated an Apple company rule” by allowing her to film its then-unreleased iPhone X on the company’s campus, which is, in fact, a clear violation of Apple’s policy. According to The Verge, after discovering the video’s presence last week, Apple asked Peterson to remove it; however by that time it had already spread across the web like wildfire.

Interestingly, while filming on Apple’s campus may very well be strictly prohibited, it’s worth noting that Peterson’s post appears to have revealed a bit more than just the iPhone X, itself — which likely reinforced the dismissal of her father. It may have seemed like an innocent “iPhone X hands-on,” as Peterson’s enthusiasm might suggest; however, whether she was aware of it or not, her video also showcased what appears to be some Apple employee-only QR codes, in addition to an open Notes app which may have included codenames and details of some unreleased Apple products.

Of course, while Bauer’s dismissal might seem a bit extreme for his daughter’s naive crime, this wouldn’t be the first of such high-profile dismissals over pre-release leaks. According to an Engadget report, back in 2005 a Microsoft engineer was dismissed from his post after it was discovered that his son posted pictures of the Xbox 360 console ahead of its official release.

Bauer had allegedly worked at Apple on its iPhone RF team for the last four years. Apple has yet to respond to multiple requests for comment on Bauer’s dismissal.

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Steve Jobs’ 2000 BMW Z8 Expected to Fetch $400K at Auction

Noting how the late Apple co-founder had a “penchant for German automobiles and design,” the New York City-based auction house, Sotheby’s, announced that a BMW Z8 roadster once owned by Steve Jobs will be heading to auction next month, where the ultra-premium automobile is expected to sell for around $ 400,000 or more.

In its official listing for the 2000 model-year sports-car, Sotheby’s details the vehicles’ rich-history of ownership, which includes its first three-years under Steve Jobs’ watchful eye. “According to legend,” the listing asserts, it was Larry Ellison — Jobs’ good friend and CEO of software-giant, ORACLE — who persuaded his billionaire buddy to purchase the Z8 back in 2000, suggesting it was not only a high-quality car, but also consistent with the iPhone-creator’s penchant for excellence in design.

After three-years of owning and maintaining the car in pristine condition, Sotheby’s notes how Jobs then sold it to “a person in Los Angeles,” who just one-year later allegedly flipped the car and sold it to a “Bay Area Tech executive.” Rumor then has it that some 18-months thereafter, the Los Angeles owner was remorseful over his decision to sell the Z8, and contacted the Bay Area buyer to purchase it back.

Though the car has been in use for over 17 years now, the auction-house noted how its only been driven for 15,200 miles during that time, and was otherwise kept covered, fully maintained, serviced and up-to-date over the years, ensuring its “good condition.” According to The Auto Channel, BMW produced around 3,000 Z8 roadsters during its four-year production run from 1999 to 2003, while it sold less than 2,300 of those here in the U.S.

Back in 1999, a base-model Z8 cost around $ 128,000 by order. However, buyers were treated to a range of noteworthy specifications including the car’s intricately designed, all-aluminum chassis; its powerful, 4.9 Liter V8 engine capable of producing over 400 horsepower; and its uniquely-crafted engine compartment, which was not only placed to allow for an “even 50/50 weight distribution” between the front and rear axles, but allowed the beast mobile to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, according to Motor Trend.

Jobs’ Z8 will reportedly go up for auction on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, as part of Sotheby’s “New York — Icons” event.

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Google CEO: We’ll Drop Everything to Fix Cheeseburger Emoji

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has his priorities in order. The undoubtedly busy tech executive said Google would “drop everything” Monday to address what is obviously the most pressing issue over in Mountain View, California: its cheeseburger emoji.

The company’s version of the cheeseburger emoji sparked some heated debate over the weekend.

The controversy started Saturday when author and writer Thomas Baekdal tweeted a photo of Google’s burger emoji compared to Apple’s.

“I think we need to have a discussion about how Google’s burger emoji is placing the cheese underneath the burger, while Apple puts it on top,” he wrote.

Indeed, Google’s placement of its virtual cheese slice is apparently straight-out blasphemy to most burger-lovers. But any snarky exaggeration aside, we’re unaware of any burger chain that stacks its burgers this way. And for good reason: how, exactly, would one get the cheese slice to melt and drip down like that? Luckily, Pichai took notice of his company’s misstep and promised swift action in a tweet.

Of course, while a slice of cheese undoubtedly belongs on top of the patty, the order of the rest of the ingredients might be up for debate.

Apple gets the cheese right but places the lettuce underneath the patty on its emoji. That may be a bit atypical, but it’s the way that In-N-Out stacks its burgers. And if you know anything about Californians, you know that In-N-Out may possibly be our most beloved and important institution. On the other hand, the tomato should be underneath the lettuce for a true West Coast icon.

Microsoft’s burger emoji is pretty typical, and probably gets as close to the all-American standard as anyone. Samsung, however, commits another grievous burger-sin by placing its digital cheese on top of the lettuce for its emoji.

Google’s emoji problems don’t end at burgers, either. As you can see below, the company also doesn’t seem to know how the physics of beer work.

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Use These 7 Ingenious Gadgets to Charge Your iPhone Anywhere

Apple has made numerous enhancements to its battery technology over the years — and routine iOS software updates only seek to improve overall system and battery performance. Still, even average users among us will occasionally find themselves in need of a quick charge up before the day’s through. Press the right arrow to browse 7 ingenious gadgets that’ll ensure your iPhone is always charged.

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Apple Shares Hit New High, Company Inches Closer to $1 Trillion Cap

Apple shares have jumped to a new record high based on anticipation of strong demand for the company’s iPhone X, due to launch this Friday.

The company’s shares were up by 2.1 percent on Monday morning, marking the first new intraday record since September. The iPhone X became available for pre-order on Friday, Oct. 27 — and Apple boasts that it saw “off the charts” demand for its first OLED handset.

In the wake of pre-order demand, shipment times for the new phone have already been pushed into December, CNBC reported.

This week will likely be a pivotal moment that will decide Apple’s fiscal future. Indeed, the launch of the iPhone X will likely be the cornerstone of Apple’s bid to prove to investors that it can be the world’s first $ 1 trillion tech company.

Apple stocks closed at $ 166.72 a share on Monday afternoon, putting the company at a market cap of about $ 861 billion. That leaves the company with about $ 140 billion to gain before it can surpass the $ 1 trillion milestone — though that is something particularly bullish analysts are already predicting.

Although the iPhone 8 launched to relatively soft demand, it suggested that anticipation was building for the iPhone X and that many consumers were still holding out for the revolutionary new handset.

According to Daniel Ives of GBH Insights, the iPhone X could turn out to be a “game changer” that spurs the long-fabled “upgrade supercycle” for Apple. As Ives pointed out, the last time the market has seen this much pent-up base demand was around the iPhone 6 launch. Of course, that device became a critical success for Apple.

And if GBH Insight’s model turns out to be accurate, Apple could see its stock price rise to $ 175 through the next 18 months. In a “bull case,” Apple’s shares could jump to $ 230 by 2018. That would bring its market cap well past $ 1 trillion.

That’s assuming that the iPhone X is well-received, particularly in China. If Apple manages to attract middle-class and wealthy consumers in the country, it could bypass the “sticker shock” that the iPhone X might have on Chinese consumers. Even now, Apple is seeing iPhone growth in China — an extremely competitive yet critically important market for smartphones.

GBH Insights isn’t the only firm on Wall Street predicting a $ 1 trillion market cap for Apple, either. Back in July, Brian White at Drexel Hamilton forecasted an Apple stock price of $ 202 within 12 months. Renowned investor Warren Buffett is also among those with a $ 1 trillion target for Apple.

The iPhone X will ship out to consumers and hit store shelves this Friday. But if demand for the device is indeed as strong as Apple says, it could present a problem due to the device’s constrained supply. Reportedly, supplies of the OLED handset won’t catch up to demand until early next year.

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