iPhone 6 to come with interchangeable lenses

The iPhone 6 could come with interchangeable lenses, if the latest rumour turns out to be true.

According to Chinese website IT168, the new iPhone will come a ten megapixel sensor, a wider f1.8 aperture and interchangeable “resin” lenses. It was quoting supply chain sources in Taiwan.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 later this year.

The lenses are reportedly created using a new resin called ARTON. According to sources, Japanese company JSR will be providing the lenses based on the new resin.

Resin-ating with the market

JSR’s own marketing material claims that the lenses offer superior “optical characteristics” and “dimension stability” that are “best suited for optical applications.”

While the concept of Apple launching a phone with interchangeable lenses might seem far fetched, there is some evidence that suggest it may do just that.

Apple was recently granted two patents for interchangeable lenses for the iPhone. However it is too early to know if the technology described in the patents will make it into the next generation of iPhone.

Previous rumours have suggested that the iPhone 6 could come with a Lytro style camera. How that would fit in with the latest rumours is unclear.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/iphone-6-to-come-with-interchangeable-lenses


US government overturns ban on iPhones, iPads

The Obama administration has overturned a US trade panel’s ban on the sale of some older iPhones and iPads, reversing a ruling that had favored Samsung Electronics over Apple in their long-running patent battles.

The US International Trade Commission in June banned the import or sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T, saying the devices infringed a patent owned by the South Korean electronics giant.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman vetoed the ban, saying his decision was in part based on its “effect on competitive conditions in the US economy and the effect on US consumers.” He said Samsung could continue to pursue its case through the courts.

Samsung said it was “disappointed” at the lifting of the ban. “The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license,” it said in a statement.

Apple welcomed the news and applauded the administration “for standing up for innovation.” It added, “Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.”

The Apple products targeted by the ITC ban are more than a year old, though some models such as the iPhone 4 remain solid sellers. Apple sells more than 100 million iPhones annually, but it does not break down sales by models.

Apple and Samsung have been waging a global patent war since 2010, filing multiple lawsuits against each other over the design and functionality of their devices.

This ITC ban is specific to a Samsung patent on technology that allows devices to transmit multiple services simultaneously and correctly through 3G wireless technology.

Such patents are called “standard essential patents” and they cover technology that must be used to comply with standards set by industry organizations.

The Obama administration has been pressing for most infringements of standard essential patents to be punished by monetary fines instead of sales injunctions.

Froman on Saturday said the ITC should thoroughly examine the public interest ramifications of its rulings in disputes over standard essential patents.

Designed to be a trade panel, the ITC has become a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it acts relatively quickly and can order import bans, which are more difficult to get from district courts.

While the ITC was created to ensure that US companies can compete fairly against imports, a number of foreign companies with US manufacturing plants have filed patent complaints with the agency. Samsung has a plant in Austin, Texas.

ITC cases can be appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and from there to the Supreme Court.

Apple has a parallel complaint filed against Samsung at the ITC, accusing the South Korean company of copying the iPhone and iPad. An ITC judge in that case found that Samsung had violated four out of six patents listed in the complaint. A final decision is due in August.

Samsung makes phones that run on Google’s Android operating software, the market leader. Apple has also sued other Android phone makers including HTC for patent infringement.

The case at the International Trade Commission was No. 337-794.\


Apple confirms developer site hack, stolen data can’t be ruled out

Apple Inc’s main website for developers remains shut after intruders tried to steal sensitive information last week, forcing the iPhone maker to overhaul its database and server software to prevent future breaches.

The intrusion last Thursday marked a rare cyber attack on the US company’s network and comes at a time when third-party developers are testing their apps on Apple’s iOS 7 – a smartphone and tablet platform to be launched in the fall.

Apple’s developer site also houses sensitive financial information, which is encrypted.

Apple said on Sunday that no customer information had been compromised, but was unable to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and email addresses may have been accessed.

An Apple spokesman said the website that was breached was not associated with any customer information.

It remained unclear how much, if any, data was compromised or who the attackers were. Apple would not comment on their identity.

“Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed. However, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed,” Apple told developers on its website.

“To prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we’re completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database,” Apple said in a statement, adding that the developer website will be up and running soon.

The company also told developers that their membership, if set to expire, has been extended and all third-party apps will remain on Apple’s app store for the duration.


VLC for iOS resurrected, built from ground up this time

All those iOS owners who had been disappointed when VLC media player was pulled off from the app store can now heave a sigh of relief. The utility’s edition 2.0 is here. The VideoLAN tool will be pushed out only to those who have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch which run the platform’s version 5.1or above.

The Cupertino-based company had pulled the utility from its app store way back in 2011, owing to software’s General Public License which clashed with various parameters set by the iPhone maker. Although the service is still open source, it is now bi-licensed under the Mozilla Public License version 2 and the GPLv2. The code too will be pushed to the fore today itself.

While speaking to the guys over at The Next Web, VideoLAN said that this is not merely an upgrade, but a complete re-write from ground up. It went on to call the app faster than the previous version, mentioning that the tool is compatible with all files that are supported by the desktop edition.

Get multiple choices while syncing the media player, some of which include uploading over Wi-Fi, compatibility with third-party apps through the Share dialog and more. The revamped software also offers support for streaming videos, passcode lock and background audio playback, if we had to name a few.

The global rollout has already begun and over the day, VLC will be made available to iOS owners, beginning with New Zealand and Australia. It is being said that the service has also been spotted available for download in North America.


Foxconn reportedly hiring workers for next-gen iPhone

Foxconn has begun recruiting workers for a next-gen iPhone, a Chinese-language report claimed Tuesday.

A recruitment firm that works with a Hon Hai (aka Foxconn) plant in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, has begun large-scale recruitment of workers for production of Apple’s next-gen phone, according to a report in China Business News.

Though the report refers to the product as the “iPhone 6,” this appears to be guesswork, as there is no indication of a model number confirmation from Foxconn.

A source at the plant noted that Hon Hai currently has 210,000 workers, compared to a peak of 300,000 in 2012, according to an English-language summary provided by BrightWire News.

There are speculative references in the CBN article to a product — possibly different from the one going into production — with a“borderless” design, aluminum and carbon fiber shell, and chassis weight 40 percent less than the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S, with a physical design similar to the iPhone 5, is expected in the fall timeframe. Presumably, a more radically redesigned iPhone 6 would follow the 5S.


Microsoft to bring ‘Age of Empires’ to Apple Inc., Android phones

Microsoft Corp will offer its popular “Age of Empires” game for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other smartphones through a tie-up with Japan’s KLab Inc, seeking to capture growth in a booming mobile game market.

Microsoft’s gaming business is dependent primarily on its Xbox franchise but mobile devices have been eating into the gaming industry, luring consumers away from traditional consoles.

While the tech giant has released a few mobile games for iOS and Android like Wordament, “Age of Empires” is its most popular game to date to be offered beyond its own consoles.

The strategy is one that analysts argue other game machine makers such as Mario Brothers creator Nintendo Co Ltd could consider in a bid to leverage their software assets.

KLab will develop a mobile version of “Age of Empires” which will be released before the end of March, a KLab spokesperson said.

Shares in KLab were overwhelmed by a glut of buy orders in Tokyo trade on Tuesday, with its price indicated at 972 yen, 18 percent higher than its last close.

Contrary to an earlier report, the agreement is only to develop a mobile version of “Age of Empires” and there were no announcements on other titles, the two companies said.

The historical strategy game will be released worldwide in English for iPhones and Andriod-based phones, “with plans to release the game in other languages and on a Windows Phone in the future,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.


Apple unveils iOS 7

Apple has unveiled iOS 7 after months of speculation.

“iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone,” said CEO Tim Cook, introducing iOS 7. “It’s packed with amazing new features, and a stunning new user interface.”

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system represented the biggest change to the look and feel of iOS since the first iPhone launched in 2007.

As anticipated, iOS7 sports a flat-design, with the skudeomorpism of the previous design done away with.

“We wanted to take an experience that people know very well and add to it,” Ive explains in a video shown during the keynote event. “We see iOS 7 as defining an important new direction … and in many ways, a beginning.”

The redesign of iOS has reportedly been underway for the last six months since Craig Federighi took over software development for the mobile platform.

Very little of the new operating system resembles the old version of the software. Almost every part of the software has been redesigned.

Among the new features are multiple pages within folders and the introduction of a today view for notification centre.

Apple also showed off its new Control Centre, which offers a quicker and simpler way to control many of the most used settings.

Another major change includes the introduction of a revamped multitasking interface, which is part of the Control Centre. Instead of icons, iOS 7 displays a preview of the screen. It is also smart enough to recognise when you use an app a lot during the day – such as Facebook – and devote more power and processing time to it to keep you updated.

iOS also introduces a raft of small, but all the same useful features, such as a Flashlight built into the device, and AirDrop, allowing you to share files and photos without needing to send them via email or text.

Other small features introduced in the latest version include FaceTime audio, per app VPN and perhaps long overdue, the ability to block people from calling you on the phone and via FaceTime, and sending texts via Message.

Siri sounds more human like in iOS 7. It’s also smarter and faster – very much needed with the superior processing available via Google Now. Siri also now has Twitter, Wikipedia, and most interestingly, Bing support.

Apple has also beefed up security on the device, enabling enterprise single sign on support for those of you who used your iPhone in the workplace, and a revamp of find my iPhone that locks the device until you sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Apple has said that the software is still under development at the moment and will be released later on in the year.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/apple-unveils-ios-7