New iPad and iPhone Launch Do Little to Quell Apple Rumors
At long last, Apple this week showcased some new hardware.
Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new iPhone version, called (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7, that comes in red and benefits the Global Fund, which aims to eradicate AIDS. Additionally, Apple unveiled its long-awaited iPad update, and even showcased some a new, upcoming video-sharing app called Clips that looks striking similar to Snapchat's own video feature.
Still, Apple's announcements were notable in how small the updates were. And now there's widespread speculation that Apple will be holding an event sometime soon where it showcase some big iPad enhancements. Meanwhile, iPhone rumors continue to run rampant.
But it wasn't just about hardware this week. Apple also found itself the subject of a WikiLeaks data dump on CIA spying and was said to be investing heavily in a new technology.
Read on for this week's Apple news roundup:
- Apple made a splash on Tuesday with the announcement of a new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7. The device has the same processor and features in other iPhone 7 models, but comes with a new red finish. A portion of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 sales proceeds will go towards the Global Fund to fight AIDS. The handset starts at $749.
- Apple has officially discontinued the iPad Air line and is now offering, simply, the iPad. The tablet comes with a 9.7-inch Retina screen and Apple's A9 processor, which should work just fine for sophisticated apps. But perhaps most importantly, iPad features a $329 starting price, making it the cheapest Retina display-equipped iPad of all time. Both the iPhone and iPad are available now to order. For more on the iPad and its sales decline, click here.
- Apple raised some eyebrows on Tuesday with the announcement of a new video app it's calling Clips. The software, which is coming to the iPhone, lets users add virtual elements to their videos in ways that are reminiscent of Snapchat, Instagram, and other social video apps. The Clips app can film up to 30 minutes long and edited videos can last an hour. They can be shared on Apple's Messages app, as well as social media sites. Clips will be available when Apple releases iOS 10.3 in the coming days.
- Augmented reality could be Apple's "next big thing," according to a Bloomberg report this week. Apple has reportedly formed a massive team of engineers and designers charged with bundling the technology, which overlays virtual elements on the real world, into future products. Apple is expected to deliver some augmented reality features, like the ability to change the depth-of-field in photos, with the next iPhone. Future augmented reality gadgets could also be in the works.
- WikiLeaks released Vault 7 "Dark Matter" this week, a data dump featuring a handful of programs it say the CIA has used to surreptitiously monitor iPhones and Macs for nearly a decade. One of the programs, called NightSkies 1.2, is a "beacon/loader/implant tool" that CIA has been using since 2008. It allows the CIA operative to install a spying tool on "factory fresh iPhones," or devices that users haven't yet interacted with. What's more, the CIA might have intercepted shipments to customers, installed its program, and then sent the iPhone on its way to the recipient. Apple has since said that the exploits outlined in the WikiLeaks data dump are old and have all been patched.
- Alongside the iPad and iPhone this week, Apple also showcased several new Apple Watch bands for Spring 2017. The watch bands offer new colors and styles from Hermes and Nike.
- Remember all that talk last year about a secretive Apple "wireless device" that was floating around the FCC? Turns out it was a badge reader that might ultimately find its way to the new Apple headquarters, Apple Park. Snooze.
- Apple has expanded the amount of time you can sign up for its AppleCare+ service on the iPhone. You now have up to a year after purchasing the iPhone to take advantage of Apple's insurance option. Apple previously limited AppleCare+ purchases to sixty days after you buy your iPhone.
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One more thing...There's a Siri prank making its rounds on social media that suggest users say, "Hey Siri, 108" into their iPhones. It's a bad idea. Siri will automatically call 911 Emergency Services and users could clog up the critical emergency line.