A Foxconn employee has allegedly taken new images of the iPhone 8’s internals and posted them to the Chinese social networking site Weibo over the weekend, providing a look at the inside of Apple’s OLED iPhone that’s expected to be announced next month. The images lack a layered glimpse into the iPhone’s internal components, so they were probably not taken via x-ray and were more likely captured through some other form of black and white image processing.
The images depict an iPhone in the “engineering validation test” (EVT) stage of manufacturing with a codename of “Ferrari,” the internal name for the iPhone 8 that was previously leaked in supply chain documents late last year. Within the iPhone 8, there’s a large, central black spot that represents the device’s wireless charging coil, which is what will fuel the smartphone’s long-rumored wireless charging features.
Otherwise, you can see the dual camera module for the rear camera, blown up shots of what appears to be the front-facing camera or sensors, a large space for the L-shaped battery, and a stacked logic board design previously rumored by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. These changes will result in an iPhone with a longer battery life, which Apple hopes will entice those with older model iPhones to upgrade this year.
The EVT stage that the iPhone 8 images represent is a very early stage of manufacturing for Apple to be in at this point, with design validation tests (DVT) and production validation tests (PVT) to go ahead of a consumer release. This calls the validity of the images into question, but they could have been taken at an earlier date. At this point, we know that Apple supplier Samsung Display is entering into full scale production for iPhone 8 OLED panels, while numerous reports have pointed towards a shortage for the iPhone 8 come launch.
Feeding into more delay and shortage rumors surrounding the iPhone 8, Foxconn vice president Luo Zhongsheng said that the yield rate of the iPhone 8 and its OLED display is only at 60 percent — a number previously estimated by industry watchers — because crafting the “special-shaped” OLED display is proving difficult (via MyDrivers). The vice president shared the news on Weibo, and the post has since been deleted. Zhongsheng was likely referring to the front-facing “notch” that’s rumored to hold the iPhone 8’s camera and 3D sensors for facial recognition.
Rumors and leaks related to the iPhone 8 are growing more and more steady as we near the device’s announcement, expected at an event in September. Thanks to the release of the HomePod’s firmware, we now know the general front-facing design of the iPhone 8, and that the smartphone might record 4K video at 60 fps. The facial recognition system was also discovered to potentially be able to scan a user’s face even when the iPhone is lying flat on a table.
Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Discuss this article in our forums
Apple Maps has been updated with transit data in Queensland and Western Australia, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions in large cities such as Brisbane and Perth, and surrounding areas.
In Brisbane, supported vehicles include TransLink buses and Queensland Rail trains, with routes extending to, from, and within the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast suburbs. Apple Maps also supports G:link trams in the Gold Coast.
Travel north to smaller cities like Rockhampton and Townsville and Apple Maps provides routes for Sunbus buses. Of note, long-distance train routes along the Queensland coast don’t appear to be available at this time.
Many other regions of Queensland are now supported, so check the Transit tab in Apple Maps if you live somewhere else in the state.
In Western Australia, the biggest addition is Perth. Transperth buses and trains routes extend to suburbs like Mandurah and Rockingham. Long-distance Transwa train routes are also supported between several Western Australia destinations.
Apple Maps transit directions were already available in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney prior to today’s expansion.
Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple’s public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.
At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.
Newer additions include Atlanta, Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Madrid, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.
For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple’s website.
Tags: Australia, Apple Maps, transit
Discuss this article in our forums
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 11 to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the fourth beta and two months after introducing the new update at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
Registered developers can download the fifth iOS 11 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed.
According to Apple’s release notes, in the fifth beta, iCloud Messages has been removed. Apple plans to reintroduce it in a future update to iOS 11. Today’s beta fixes AirPlay, and tapping the AirPlay button in videos that are not full screen will no longer crash some apps. There’s also a fix for a Calendar bug that could cause crashes when dragging items into the Calendar app, and FaceTime Live Photos is now an option that’s enabled by default.
Favorites that were added to the Health app in iOS 11 beta 4 or earlier are no longer available, with Apple having restored Favorites that were selected prior to iOS 11.
iOS 11 introduces significant design changes, including a customizable Control Center and a new Lock screen that’s been merged with the Notification Center. Peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments are coming in the Messages app, which is also gaining a new App Drawer, and there’s a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that’s meant to help drivers stay focused on the road. Siri, Photos, the Camera app, and more are also gaining new features and refinements.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
ARKit for developers will bring a range of new augmented reality apps and games to iOS devices, while a Core ML SDK has the potential to let developers build smarter apps. iOS 11 is also the biggest update ever for the iPad, with a new Dock that introduces much improved multitasking, a Files app for better managing files, improved Apple Pencil support, a revamped App Switcher, and a system-wide drag and drop feature.
iOS 11 is available for both registered developers and public beta testers and will see another month of testing ahead of a prospective September release date alongside new iPhones.
For complete details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our extensive iOS 11 roundup.
Related Roundup: iOS 11
Discuss this article in our forums
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11 update designed for the fourth-generation TV, two weeks after seeding the fourth beta and two months after releasing the first beta during the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference.
Registered developers can download tvOS 11 by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C cable and installing the beta software using iTunes.
tvOS 11 didn’t receive a lot of attention at the Worldwide Developers Conference due to time constraints, but according to Apple’s release notes, it introduces a few new features to the operating system.
tvOS 11 offers automatic switching between light/dark mode based on local time, Home screen syncing options that keep multiple Apple TVs in a household in sync, new background modes and notification support, Focus API improvements, custom sound support, network-based pairing and development support, improvements to Mobile Device Management, and more.
The fifth beta of tvOS 11 most likely focuses primarily on bug fixes and other small refinements, as the first four betas did. Apple’s new tvOS 11 update is available for both registered developers and public beta testers. It will see a public release later this year.
Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)
Discuss this article in our forums
Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.
These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged.
QuickPark is the ultimate parking assistant, both in your pocket and on your wrist. Use QuickPark to set how much time you’ve got left in your meter and you’ll get notified when you’re running out of time.
Lift your spirits with an encouraging and uplifting hypnotherapy session by Rachael Meddows Hypnosis. Don’t forget to snap out of it!
This simple app lets you tap on the screen to create fireworks. Keep your baby or yourself entertained for hours with these optics.
MoneyCoach brings you more money and financial freedom by helping you manage all your financial accounts, create amazing reports and give you personalized finance tips.
Step Out of Bed
The only way you can turn off this alarm clock is by actually stepping out of your bed. It uses advanced image recognition and step tracking technologies to confirm that you’re far away from your bed.
Need some help calculating these metrics? This app can help you find the value of resistors, and includes an Ohm’s law calculator and a 555 timer that calculates output frequency.
Why it matters to you
If you’re not a fan of human interactions when it comes to your insurance claims, the rise of drones and apps in the industry may be good news.
Your insurance agent may start looking a bit more … robotic in the months and years to come. As we continue to inhabit an increasingly digitized world, a growing number of our interactions will be not with our fellow humans, but with machines. And that’s certainly the case when it comes to your insurance company. As per the 2017 Future of Claims Study survey by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, these companies are looking to “virtual” or “touchless” methods of handling claims. In fact, a solid 38 percent of insurers are said to no longer send human employees for physical inspections. Instead, they’re using drones and apps.
Faster and more efficient than their human counterparts, drones (and the photos they take), apps, and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the insurance industry. As the Wall Street Journal noted, filing a claim has traditionally involved a long and rather arduous process, taking weeks and many a phone call to resolve. But now, drones and other technology could be injecting the industry with some much-needed efficiency.
As per the LexisNexis survey, about 40 percent of car insurers do not use employees to physically inspect damage, and as the Journal reported, “Claims that rely on greater automation can be handled in two to three days compared with 10 to 15 days for a more traditional approach that involves an in-person visit.”
And new-fangled insurance companies like Lemonade have made headlines for promising to resolve claims in a matter of seconds.
In the insurance world, time is money. “The faster you can settle a claim, typically the less you can settle it for, so there is a direct financial incentive,” said Matthew Josefowicz, chief executive of insurance-technology consulting firm Novarica. He pointed out that water damage and similar claims can get worse if they’re not addressed immediately.
That said, there’s certainly some skepticism when it comes to relying too heavily on machines to resolve what often comes down to human error. As Andrew Newman, president of reinsurance broker Willis Re told the Journal, “It’s great to speed up certain parts of the process, [but] to think that one photograph, one piece of code or one algorithm is the Holy Grail, I think is a bit of a misnomer.”
Why it matters to you
No one wants to waste time flipping through an owner’s manual, but can augmented reality make the experience better?
The number of features and the general complexity of modern cars means owner’s manuals can now double as doorstops. It is unlikely that many owners will want to take the time to read through these tomes, but they contain vital information.
Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand hopes to address this problem using augmented reality. It created the Genesis Virtual Guide for its G80 and G90 sedans as a high-tech update of the traditional owner’s manual. Owners can download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The digital manual currently compatible with 2017 models only, but Genesis plans to update it for 2018 models later this year.
This app-based owner’s manual packs a lot of information and features into a Genesis owner’s smartphone or tablet. In addition to a complete digital owner’s manual, it includes 135 how-to videos and 25 3D-overlay images that appear when the user scans different areas of the car, like the engine bay or dashboard.
All a Genesis owner needs to do is hold their smartphone or tablet over a given area of the car and different visual aids appear. Scanning the engine compartment, for example, pulls up maintenance instructions. These cover engine oil and brake fluid levels, jump starting, air filter replacement, topping off washer fluid, and provide an explanation of the fuse box. Owners can also use the AR manual to learn how to change a tire.
Scanning the interior shows labels for each of the buttons, knobs, and other controls, and how-to videos for the functions they perform, such as Bluetooth phone pairing. A section for the instrument cluster explains all of the warning lights, sometimes referred to by the less-polite name “idiot lights.”
Both Genesis and parent Hyundai are getting serious about connected features for their cars. The two brands also offer smartwatch integration and an Amazon Alexa skill for the cars. These features are certainly in keeping with tech zeitgeist, but to be anything more than generators buzzwords, owners have to actually want to use them. A digital makeover could be just what the unloved owner’s manual needs or the Genesis Virtual Guide might just become an unloved app on owners’ home screens.
Why it matters to you
Google has taken the fate of its Android flagship phones into its own hands, and the resulting devices — the Pixel and Pixel XL — are superb.
Google is taking firm ownership of the flagship Android phones it produces each year. Only now they’re no longer called Nexus phones, but Pixel phones. In October 2016, the search giant formally unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL, two top-of-the-line smartphones made in partnership with Taipei, Taiwan-based electronics maker HTC.
The Pixel and Pixel XL may be produced by HTC, but they’re unquestionably “Google phones” — they’re the first handsets in history to carry the company’s new “made by Google brand,” in fact. And they’re an impressive first attempt.
Price and availability
Since release, the Pixel phones have proven popular and, unfortunately, very difficult to find. Nearly a year later, Google finally appears to have a stable stock going — and with the Pixel 2 on the horizon, the firm has already started slashing prices. The discounts on offer as part of Google’s Back to School event are listed below:
- 32GB Pixel: $524 (down from $650) or $21.83 per month for 24 months
- 128GB Pixel: $624 (down from $750) or $26 per month for 24 months
- 32GB Pixel XL $569 (down from $770) or $23.71 month for 24 months
- 128GB Pixel XL: $669 (down from $870) or $27.88 per month for 24 months
Both the Pixel and Pixel XL come in 32GB and 128GB storage capacity options, in black, silver/white, or blue colors. Google cheekily calls these “quite black,” “very silver,” and “really blue.” The blue version can only be had with 32GB storage.
Also, the phones are available on Google Fi and exclusively from Verizon, where tempting special offers often come up. Also, Best Buy officially sells the Pixel and Pixel XL through its stores.
In the United Kingdom, the Pixel and Pixel XL are sold through the Google Play online store. The 32GB Pixel is 600 British pounds, and the 32GB Pixel XL is 720 British pounds. Opt for the 128GB model and you’ll pay 700 British pounds for the Pixel, and a massive 820 British pounds for the Pixel XL.
For a start, only the black and silver versions were sold in the country, but from February 24, the “really blue” limited edition model will arrive. However, it appears to only be available through Carphone Warehouse and the EE network. Shortly before the U.K. announcement of the blue Pixel, Canadian network Rogers exclusively secured the limited edition model.
Both phones, differentiated more by size than hardware, bear the hallmarks of high-end smartphone design: they’re dominated by polished aluminum, Gorilla Glass 4, and an almost incidental amount of plastic to accommodate wireless radios. The Pixel and Pixel XL’s edges slope gracefully, as do its wedged sides — a design language that not-so-subtly evokes Apple’s iPhone. And they’re pleasingly minimalist. On the front, selfie cameras and earpieces; on the right side is a power button and volume rocker; and on the rear is a dedicated shooter, LED flash, and circular fingerprint sensor.
Google’s new phones aren’t just pretty faces, though: they’re powerhouses. The Pixel XL packs a 5.5-inch, Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) AMOLED screen with an impressive density of 534 pixels-per-inch. The Pixel packs a smaller and lower-resolution AMOLED screen at 5 inches and Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels), respectively, but squeezes it into a slightly more compact package.
Beneath those displays is one of the fastest mobile processors around. The Pixels have the distinction of packing Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor, a chip 10 percent more power efficient than the predeceasing Snapdragon 820. The variant in the Pixels is clocked at a 2.15GHz and paired with 4GB of RAM — more than enough to crunch webpages, benchmarks, docs, and games with ease, Google said.
Those aren’t the only highlights. The Pixels share a pair of cameras that promise impressive captures in both daytime and dim surroundings — Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of hardware, called them the “best smartphone camera anyone has ever made.” The rear-facing sensor’s a 12.3-megapixel model with f/2.0 aperture, 1.55um sensor size, and optical image stabilization, and the front-facing shooter’s an 8-megapixel specimen. And they work in tandem with proprietary algorithms that enhance those picture-taking capabilities. Smart Burst shot takes multiple snaps in milliseconds and automatically chooses the best. HDR Plus takes “clear, vivid pictures” in “challenging conditions.” But perhaps most impressive is video stabilization: thanks to a custom algorithm that samples gyroscope data 200 times a second and compensates for rolling shutter, videos turn out smooth as butter.
Powering all those features are impressively large batteries. The Pixels sport Lithium-ion power packs of capacities that promise hours, if not days, on a charge: the Pixel XL packs a 3,450mAh battery, while the Pixel sports a 2,770mAh pack. Better yet, both support quick charging, which Google said can deliver up to 70 percent in after 15 minutes on a charger.
Familiar accouterments abound on both Pixels. Both feature USB Type-C connectors, Bluetooth, NFC, and 3.5mm headphone jacks. And they come with what Google calls a Quick Switch adapter: a plugin that automatically transfers your contacts, photos, videos, music, texts, calendar events, and messages from an iPhone to a Pixel.
Hardware is only part of the Pixels’ appeal, of course. Android 7.1 Nougat is the other, and it’s a doozie of an upgrade from the version of Android — 6.0 Marshmallow — that shipped on Google’s Nexus 6P and 5X. Launcher Shortcuts provide quick access to activities and settings menus within apps. Pressing and holding a Google Maps icon, for instance, might surface a pop-up for turn-by-turn navigation to saved locations; a Google Calendar icon might include buttons for quickly creating a new event or reminder; and a Google Play Music icon might include shortcuts to a saved playlist or recently played songs.
Android Nougat may be destined for smartphones old and new, but the Pixels retain a few exclusive features. First is the Pixel Launcher, a proprietary Google-made home screen. Most notably, it features a “G” tab for quick access to the Google Assistant, Google’s AI-powered intelligent assistant. The Assistant is activated by pressing and holding Android’s home button or say “OK, Google,” and works much as it does in Google’s messaging app, Allo. You can ask it to show pictures you too last October, for instance, or surface event listings for a nearby concert venue. And it integrates with third-party apps and services: the Assistant can play music from YouTube and Google Play Music, text friends via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and more, and place reservations at a restaurant with OpenTable.
Beyond the Google Assistant, the Pixel Launcher sports a pull-up dock provides quick access to apps, plus a search bar for quickly parsing through software previously installed.
The Pixels also include a Google Photos benefit: free “unlimited” storage for full-resolution photos. And they pack an app that provides 24/7 live customer care. If you encounter an issue, you can reach a support agent via chat and even share your screen to let the agent see what you’re seeing. The Pixels also ship with Allo and Duo, Google’s latest text and video messaging apps, pre-installed.
Android Nougat packs other changes, too. Android’s familiar navigation icons are now white and distinctly geometric: the middle home button has an extra ring around it. Notifications now wrap to the edges of the screen and sport Direct Reply, a feature that allows you to respond to incoming messages from Facebook, Hangouts, Whatsapp, and more straight from the tray. And a new split-screen mode lets you use two apps at once.
If you want to know more about Android 7.0 Nougat, you can check out our roundup for a full list of what’s new.
Update: Added new pricing information as part of Google’s Back to School event.
Fleksy isn’t dead. Instead, it’s being ushered into a new direction by ThingThing in a bid to make the smartphone keyboard app into a platform of its own.
Consider the fact the way you type to a friend or family member is kind of like a language of its own. Think about it: the emoji you use, the shorthand you elect, and the sentences you choose to complete are all part of a system of rhetoric you’ve developed around communicating with others via a smartphone.
The plan is to open up Fleksy to third-party developers to turn it into a bonafide platform.
And what if your keyboard doesn’t support the kind of fluidity you need to have conversations? Well, then it’s frustrating to use. These sorts of scenarios are what ThingThing is attempting to eliminate, in addition to seeking to make its users feel like they’re able to express themselves regardless of the messaging app they’re conversing in.
“We take for granted the keyboard for just being a key input, but if [what you need] is one tap away, you can eliminate having to switch between apps,” said Olivier Plante, the co-founder of ThingThing. The popular iOS keyboard app recently announced it would take over development for another popular keyboard app on Android, Fleksy, which wasn’t actually left for dead as we’d all initially thought.
The idea is to bundle in ThingThing’s integrated services abilities with Fleksy’s impressive auto-correct capabilities. “We started to exchange visions — of what is the role of the keyboard in the market, and how the OS is going to evolve in the future,” Plante told TechCrunch last month. “[Our visions were] aligned in values.”
The plan is to open up Fleksy to third-party developers to turn it into a bonafide platform of sorts with plug-ins and quick access to shortcuts and other apps and services. I spoke to Plante about what’s next for Fleksy, and what users of the iOS and Android apps can expect with something like a “keyboard platform.”
ThingThing’s declaration of love for Fleksy from its official blogpost.
The keyboard as a platform
If you’re a seasoned Android user, you’re already privy to the idea of the keyboard as a platform in of itself. Think about it: you’ve always had the option to ditch whatever default keyboard app came with your Android-powered device. Well, that’s the same idea behind the next version of Fleksy; essentially, that it becomes the app you want to type with in every app that supports keyboard input because it offers everything you could need.
We see the keyboard as the perfect gateway to sort actions in any app.
“We see the keyboard as the perfect gateway to sort actions in any app,” explained Plante in a Skype call. “As Facebook Messenger has evolved into a platform, as iMessage had enabled the ability for developers to build micro-apps…if you have this approach of having a silo, it ends up being a big mess for developers. It creates a cluster of multiple things to manage.”
Plante continues, “The platform enables users to access content in any app and share it in any app where the keyboard is. It’s as simple as that. We’ll enable third-party developers and service providers to build on it but in a very careful way. We’re talking about different types of services, from GIF services to places on Yelp to songs from Spotify. But it’s always the same principle of being able to access things and share them.”
What separates it from other keyboard apps?
With GBoard already featuring integrations into its services and plenty of users flocking to Google’s stock offerings, it may seem like using any other third-party keyboard app is moot. But not so, explains Plante:
“We see other keyboard apps have tried something similar…who have created a bloated experience, something that is very messy. [Our] team is very attentive to the core user experience — It’s one of our core values: to create an experience that’s simple to use.”
Plante added that what will help separate the next Fleksy is how much more private it is compared to other keyboard apps. “The users know that, with us, they will have a private experience that’s completely local with nothing in the cloud. The algorithm sits on the phone; everything is processed on the phone, and we’re [the ones] directing services.”
Any unique features for Android users?
Android users will see the same keyboard experience as their iOS counterparts when the new app relaunches. However, Plante promises, the app will continue to be developed specifically for the Android user:
“We want to unify the experience, so if a user has an Android tablet and an iPhone, he’ll be able to have the same experience. We’re going to focus our attention on making both platforms compatible. But we know Android has specificities, and we’ll always care about those specific features.”
“We want to provide a premium feeling product, so we’re thinking carefully about behaviors of users and asking people if they understand how things can be used. We’re centered in on that experience of the user.”
How Fleksy plans to remain private
We want to empower what the user wants while being respectful of their privacy.
“We’re very serious about this. We want to empower what the user wants [while also being] respectful of their privacy. Do you want to search with Google? Fine, but you don’t need to tell anyone what’s happening behind the scenes — cross marketing, advertising that suddenly shown what you’ve been typing to your friend. We don’t believe this is the future. These kinds of things are happening, and we think we need to bring something valuable to the world. It’s what we care about.”
Download Fleksy (free)
First live images of the Galaxy Note 8 show off a familiar design.
We’re just a few weeks away from the official launch of the Galaxy Note 8, and the leaks are starting to fly in thick and fast. Press renders of Samsung’s upcoming flagship leaked last week, highlighting a design that’s reminscent of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, albeit with a more squared-off look.
Today, we’re being treated to the first live images of the Galaxy Note 8, possibly from a prototype unit. The photos show off a dedicated Bixby button to the left of the phone, as well as a dual camera setup at the back — a first for Samsung. The fingerprint location hasn’t changed much from the Galaxy S8, with the sensor located at the back next to the camera sensor.
The leaked images also show off the redesigned S Pen, which matches up with last week’s leak.
The Galaxy Note 8 is also expected to offer a similar set of specs as the Galaxy S8, including a Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 combination, but the phone will likely see a memory bump to 6GB. Samsung may also launch a variant with 256GB storage in its home market.
Galaxy Note 8: what we know so far
With the Note 8 launch set for August 23, we should know more shortly. What do you think of the design of the Note 8 from the leaked images above? Let us know in the comments.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Galaxy Note 8: Everything we know so far
- Rumored Galaxy Note 8 specs
- All Galaxy Note 8 news
- Should you buy the Galaxy S8+ or wait for the Note 8?
- The buttonless future of Samsung phones
- Join our Galaxy Note 8 forums