• Apple Re-Launches iPhone 6 Model in Gold 32 GB for Asian Customers

    Posted on March 6th, 2017 Yuson Zou | 255 comments

    Apple’s iPhone 6 dates back to 2014. When iPhone 6 debuted, there were three models available: 16/64/128 GB. Apple did not launch the iPhone 6 in a 32 GB SKU before. But now Apple is re-launching the iPhone 6 in a 32 GB gold configuration.

    Although the 32 GB iPhone 6 is released, it is not sold at retail stores or on its website where Apple continues to sell the iPhone SE as its low-end option. Compared with iPhone 6, iPhone SE has better internal components but does not have a larger screen. Instead, the gold 32 GB iPhone 6 is going on sale at select carriers in Asia as a low-end model. The device is going to be launched on Taiwan Mobile on March 10 and has been available in China since late February.

    Unlike Apple’s quietness, Taiwan Mobile is pushing the ‘new’ iPhone as a special limited-edition promotion. It is advertising it as the cheapest iPhone ever to be offered on its network and is already accepting pre-orders. The carrier is selling the device for ‘free’ with a NT$1,399/month contract plan (about $45 USD) that lasts for 30 months.

    It isn’t clear if the 32 GB iPhone 6 will also be available for buying on other carriers in Taiwan or if it really is exclusive to Taiwan Mobile. It appears to be on sale at just one online carrier in China.

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  • Acoustic Imaging Technology Reported to Replace Touch ID in Future iPhone Models

    Posted on February 24th, 2017 Echo Brown | 291 comments

    In its filing for “Acoustic imaging system architecture,” Apple proposes a method by which a conventional capacitive fingerprint sensor like Touch ID might be replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath a device display or its protective housing.

    As described in some embodiments, the transducers in a first mode generate acoustic waves, or pulses, capable of propagating through a variety of substrates, including an iPhone’s coverglass. Operation, or driving, of the transducers is managed by a controller.


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    The same transducer hardware then enters a second sensing mode to monitor reflections, attenuations, and diffractions to the acoustic waves caused by a foreign object in contact with the input-responsive substrate. Resulting scan data in the form of electrical signals is read by an onboard image resolver, which creates an approximated two-dimensional map.

    Applied to biometric recognition solutions, Apple’s acoustic imaging system might be configured to read a user’s fingerprint. According to the filing, ridges in a finger pad introduce an acoustic impedance mismatch that causes the mechanical waves generated by a transducer to reflect or diffract in a known manner.

    Like other biometric security solutions, the digital maps obtained by an acoustic imaging system are ultimately compared against a database of known assets to authenticate a user.

    Thanks to its design, the acoustic system can be installed practically anywhere in a device chassis, including directly under a display. Other potential points of integration include a screen’s perimeter or bezel, around buttons and in non-input areas of a housing, like a rear chassis. The latter coupling method would allow an example system to sample a user’s entire handprint.

    Indeed, in some cases the system might be configured to scan for particular body parts like a user’s ear or a skin pattern in order to determine how the device is being held. Depending on the implementation, an acoustic imaging system might also serve as a robust replacement for other legacy components like an iPhone’s proximity sensors.



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    The patent application goes on to cover system details like ideal materials, transducer placement, controllers, drive chips, component layouts and more.

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  • Apple is Reportedly Adding Wireless Charging to iPhone 8

    Posted on February 12th, 2017 Henry | 221 comments

    There’s been rumors over the past few months that the iPhone 8 would be featuring wireless charging and a recent report further confirms it.

    According to KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three models of iPhone 8 will have wireless charging built-in.

    Apple is expected to release 3 different models of iPhone 8. There would be a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model just like with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but it’s said that Apple’s adding a new 5.8-inch model to the iPhone product line with an OLED display.

    To put wireless charging into iPhone’s body, some engineering changes are needed. Apple is said to said to use a new 3D Touch module with “additional graphite sheet lamination,” which can prevent the device from overheating, as glass casing and wireless charging are” unfavorable to thermal system operation,” Kuo says.


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    Here’s one part of Kuo’s report, via MacRumors:

    “While we don’t expect general users to notice any difference, lamination of an additional graphite sheet is needed for better thermal control and, thus, steady operation; this is because FPCB is replaced with film, which is more sensitive to temperature change of the 3D touch sensor in OLED iPhone.

    Currently we still don’t have much information about how Apple will implement the wireless charging feature. An old report from the beginning of last year claimed that Apple was working with partners in the States and Asia to develop a new wireless charging method that could be deployed on its devices within the upcoming year. If Apple succeeds in that, this year would be a great time point to push it to the market.

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  • YouTube Debuts iPhone Livestreams for Over 10,000 Subscribers

    Posted on February 8th, 2017 Echo Brown | 498 comments

    Google’s YouTube on Tuesday launched live streaming via its iPhone and iPad app, bringing the feature out of beta as it attempts to compete with similar streaming options available from Facebook and Twitter.

    While the general public “will have it soon,” mobile YouTube streaming is currently available only to people with over 10,000 subscribers, the company said. Though it didn’t explain why, this is presumably to manage bandwidth and/or iron out any final issues.

    Streaming is accessible by launching the app and tapping the capture button, which will present the option to record or go live.

    Like regular videos, streams can be searched for, and may pop up in recommendations and playlists. One difference is the presence of live comments, which will appear on top of videos much like Twitter’s Periscope.

    To allow streamers to generate more cash, YouTube is also launching “Super Chat,” which will let people pay to have a comment highlighted in colors, as well as pinned to the top of a chat window for up to five hours, determined by how much someone is willing to pay and how long the stream lasts. Because of the potential for abuse, paid comments are being moderated like regular chat messages.


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    YouTube first began testing live streaming with a handful of producers in June 2016. The company has since made various adjustments, for instance improving streaming quality and slowing down live chat. Early streamers potentially faced as many as 2,000 messages per second.

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  • Facebook to Build Friend Lists with the ‘Discover People’ Feature on iPhone & iPad

    Posted on February 4th, 2017 Echo Brown | 6 comments

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