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Jony Ive has long talked about the idea of an all-glass iPhone, dubbed “a single slab of glass” – and the company has now been granted a patent for a potential design, along with a glass Apple Watch and Mac Pro tower.
The illustration of the all-glass iPhone is the most detailed, showing displays on both sides, as well as functional touchscreen buttons on the edges …
Patents are generally written in the most general of terms, which makes Apple’s abstract (spotted by Patently Apple) sound a little like it’s claiming to have invented the concept of a glass box.
An electronic device includes a six-sided glass enclosure defining an interior volume and comprising a first glass member and a second glass member. The first glass member defines at least a portion of a first major side of the six-sided glass enclosure, at least a portion of a peripheral side of the six-sided glass enclosure, a first region along the peripheral side and having a first thickness, and a second region along the peripheral side and having a second thickness different from the first thickness. The second glass member is attached to the first glass member and defines at least a portion of a second major side of the six-sided glass enclosure. The electronic device further includes a touchscreen display within the interior volume and positioned adjacent at least a portion of each of the six sides of the six-sided glass enclosure.
Similarly, the potential applications are described in broad terms, also including both laptops and tablets.
Modern consumer electronic devices take many shapes and forms, and have numerous uses and functions. Smartphones, notebook computers, and tablet computers, for example, provide various ways for users to interact with other people, as well as access information, work, play games, and so forth. Such devices use enclosures to house delicate electrical components, to allow a user to easily interact with and use the device, and to provide a desired shape, form factor, and overall appearance of the device. Enclosures for electronic devices may be formed in various ways and using various materials. For example, enclosures may be formed of plastic or metal […]
An electronic device includes an enclosure comprising a monolithic glass member defining at least a portion of each of a first wall defining a first major surface of the enclosure, a second wall defining a second major surface of the enclosure, and four peripheral walls defining four peripheral surfaces of the enclosure. The electronic device may also include a display within the enclosure and adjacent at least a portion of the first wall and at least a portion of a first peripheral wall of the four peripheral walls, and a touch sensing system within the enclosure and configured to detect touch inputs applied to the enclosure.
The idea of multiple and extendable displays isn’t new, of course. There are folding phones, dual-display phones, and phones that extend touchscreen functionality to the edges.
But Apple’s patent takes this to a whole new level, envisaging the possibility of the device essentially compromising displays on all sides – something which would require rather sophisticated palm-rejection to avoid accidental touches!
Apple’s illustrations of Apple Watch and Mac Pro tower don’t have the same level of detail.
We often remind that Apple patents many things that never come to market, and this one seems especially conceptual in nature rather than a steer toward actual products. A real all-glass iPhone seems a stretch, but it’s certainly interesting to see the company exploring these sorts of ideas.
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During its 2023 WWDC keynote address, Apple today announced tvOS 17. Now, tvOS obviously doesn’t have as high a profile as Apple’s other platforms, like iOS or macOS, but the update does bring about some significant new features and improvements, such as FaceTime and video conferencing, an all-new Control Center, and more.FaceTime
Easily the most noteworthy new feature of tvOS 17 is its support for FaceTime. Bringing video conferencing to the biggest screen in the home has long been a dream of Apple and users alike, and now it’s coming to fruition. It accomplishes this via its Continuity Camera feature, which uses the camera on your iPhone or iPad to wireless stream video calls to your Apple TV. Users can initiate calls from their iOS devices, or directly on Apple TV, and it even uses Center Stage to keep everyone in the room perfectly framed on screen. And with the new Split View feature, users can enjoy watching shows or movies with their loved ones during a SharePlay session, while also seeing their real-time reactions on FaceTime.Apple Music Sing
It’s not quite a full-blown karaoke app, but Apple Music Sing is a new feature for Apple TV that lets users sing along to their favorite tracks. Lyrics to their chosen song will appear on screen, animated along to the music, and using the Continuity Camera feature, users can even see themselves performing on screen, customized with entertaining filters. Apple doesn’t offer a lot of details here, and maybe there’s nothing more to add right now, but this feels like this could be a significant new feature if fleshed out a bit.New Control Center
The new Control Center on Apple TV makes it easier for users to access key settings and information from anywhere within tvOS. CC now displays system status, including the time and current active profile, as well as other helpful details based on the user’s activity. So if you’re using AirPods paired with the Apple TV, you would be able to see their battery life status, and quickly access settings for them such as Spatial Audio.Find My Siri Remote
tvOS 17 strengthens the integration of Apple TV and iPhone with the ability to locate the Siri Remote. Users can launch the Apple TV remote app from within the Control Center on their iPhone, and use it to locate their Siri Remote (second generation or later). Similar to other Find My products, as the user gets closer to their Remote, an onscreen circle grows in size to guide their movement.Additional tvOS 17 features
Auto-switching to your profile when using your iPhone to wake up Apple TV
Screen saver enhancements such as a new curated Memories option and new stunning aerial locations
Dolby Vision 8.1 support
Enhanced Dialogue to more clearly hear what is being said when paired with a 2nd gen HomePod
Apple Fitness+ enhancements including Custom Plans, Stacks, Audio Focus, and more
Third-Party VPN supportAvailability
The tvOS 17 beta is available to developers today, and will be available to public testers next month. The public release will land this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
Potential. That’s a word that you’re going to hear tossed around a lot when it comes to the newly released Apple TV. It has the potential to be a great streaming device. It has the potential to be a wonderful music playing machine. It has the potential to be an awesome gaming console. It has the potential to really become your living room’s nucleus for entertainment.
Is it doing any one of those things in a mind-blowing fashion currently? Not exactly. Fortunately, the Apple TV has plenty of room for growth, because it’s powered by a more significant operating system called tvOS, and Apple has opened the platform up so that developers can create apps. Just like an iPhone 4s at its beginning, which shipped with iOS 5, looks nothing like an iPhone 4s running iOS 9, the Apple TV experience is bound to evolve, grow, and improve.
If you purchase an Apple TV now, you’re buying into that potential. Already, the Apple TV can do more than the 3rd-generation version that it supplants. The older hardware couldn’t download apps, and wasn’t capable of playing games natively on device. With the new Apple TV, you have all of that, along with much-improved hardware, a better remote that doesn’t require line of sight, and limited Siri access.
At this early stage in the game, you shouldn’t expect a perfect experience, but even out of the gate, it’s obvious that the new Apple TV is a much better device than prior versions. Right now, it’s just good, but with the proper direction, it has the potential to be the best set top box that we’ve seen thus far.Hardware
Out of the box, the first thing that you’ll notice is that the new Apple TV is taller than the device it replaces. Outside of the height and weight differences, it looks very similar to its predecessor from a design standpoint. There is one big difference that you’ll notice on the rear of the device where all of the connectors are housed: the USB mini connection has been replaced by a USB Type-C connection, and the optical audio output, to the chagrin of some, has been nixed altogether.
Internal changes include 802.11ac for improved Wi-Fi performance, and Dolby Digital 7.1, which is an upgrade from the prior model’s 5.1 surround sound. You’ll also receive a dual core A8 system on a chip, which is a significant upgrade over the single core A5 chip from the prior generation. Another important improvement, which unsurprisingly goes unmentioned on Apple’s website, is the inclusion of 2GB of RAM. That’s a major boost over the prior edition’s 512MB of RAM, and will lead to overall better performance.Siri Remote
The Siri Remote that comes with the Apple TV is completely new, and features many more sensors and buttons than its predecessor. It is arguably the biggest differentiator between the old Apple TV and the new model. Whereas the old remote control required line of sight to the set top box, the new Siri Remote uses Bluetooth, meaning you can control the Apple TV even if it’s located inside of an entertainment center, for instance.
Sensors include a gyroscope and accelerometer. This makes it possible to use the controller with Wii-inspired motion controlled games and apps.
Siri integration is the headline feature for the Siri Remote, and it works really well where it can. For example, you can use Siri to search for movies, and be extremely specific with your requests: i.e. “Find movies from the 80’s starring Tom Cruise” or “Find highly-rated movies from the 90’s that are rated PG.” Siri can even work in context, so after the initial search results are displayed, you can say something like “only the action movies,” and Siri will tighten up the results.
Siri is also capable of performing searches on sports scores, weather, and stocks. You can even launch apps with Siri. Outside of those things, however, Siri functionality is curiously limited. You can’t play or control music with Siri, you can’t adjust settings with Siri, you can’t search the App Store with Siri, and you can’t use Siri for text dictation. Considering that Siri can be used for all of that and more on iOS, it’s odd and a bit frustrating that it’s so limited on the Apple TV.Interface
The tvOS interface is similar to the old Apple TV interface. This time, however, Apple has aimed for a brighter white background, which is nice for the day time, but not as well suited for using the device at night time or in dark conditions. It would be nice if Apple made the background automatically change based on time of day.
Navigating with the Touch surface on the Siri Remote definitely takes some time to get used to. The control isn’t as precise as having digital hardware buttons, but it’ll likely become second nature after some extended time using it. It helps if you get used to tapping on the remote, instead of always relying on swipe gestures, by the way.
Outside of the occasional sluggishness, everything works fairly well with the interface and with navigation until you have to enter text with the on screen software keyboard. There’s no skirting around the fact that the software keyboard is bad, and arguably one of the worst tvOS design decisions. Not only does the Apple TV’s software keyboard lack the traditional QWERTY layout that most of us are used to, but all of the letters are displayed as a single line, which makes navigating and inserting each character a tedious exercise of patience.
What’s worse is that you cannot pair a wireless Bluetooth keyboard with the Apple TV for faster text input. Adding insult to injury is the lack of compatibility between the Apple Remote app on the iPhone and Apple Watch and the new Apple TV. Fortunately, it is possible to bypass having to type your Apple ID password in most cases.Areas for improvement
No Keyboard/iOS Remote support: The biggest missing feature, the lack of keyboard and iOS Remote app support, was already mentioned, but there are several others that I can think off right off the bat…
Picture in Picture: If this box is going to do more than just stream videos like the Apple TV of old, then it needs to let me watch videos and do other things at the same time. Having the iOS 9 Picture in Picture mode from the iPad would feel right at home on the Apple TV.
Siri search for the App Store and Music: the lack of a fleshed out Siri is such an obvious omission that Apple already stated that it’s working on it and a limited version of Siri search for Apple Music is already in the tvOS 9.1 beta release.
No Control Center: How am I supposed to go about changing music or other options while within apps?
Music app improvements: The stock Music app is poorly designed, and hard to navigate. Siri controls for music will go a long way towards improving music control, but the stock Music app needs some major TLC to make it more user friendly. It’s too fiddly, and requires too many button presses to navigate throughout the interface.Awesome Features
Just because the Apple TV 4 has a few opportunities for improvement, doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in every area. Actually, the new Apple TV is superb in quite a few areas…
AirPlay: AirPlay, in my experience, works much more reliably on the new Apple TV, and video and audio plays almost instantly. AirPlay mirroring is also super-fast and reliable.
Native Apps: Real apps are so much better than the “channels” that littered the last-generation Apple TV. Now we can have full fledged games and apps that run briskly on the hardware.
Bluetooth audio support: While it’s strange that you can’t yet connect a Bluetooth keyboard to the Apple TV, it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to pair your favorite Bluetooth headphones with the device. This makes watching movies and playing games possible while maintaining a quiet environment.
Game controller support: The Apple TV supports select Bluetooth game controllers, such as the SteelSeries Nimbus. There’s only so much that the Siri Remote can handle when it comes to games, even if it does include a gyroscope and accelerometer for Wii-like performance. Having the ability to use a real game controller means that more than just casual games might flourish on the Apple TV.
Sideloading apps: Xcode 7 opens up the ability for more experienced Apple TV owners to be able to sideload apps. This means that you can install apps that won’t ever appear on the App Store, such as a classic game emulator, or even a web browser.Future Growth
The bottom line is that the Apple TV has tons of room for growth, and early adopters are essentially buying into the potential of the device. The fact that the Apple TV runs tvOS means that it can be fleshed out, updated, and even completely redesigned as Apple sees fit.
Apps can be updated, new games will be released on a regular basis, and support will grow for extra peripherals. Apps are, without a doubt, the future of television. With the release of the Apple TV, the groundwork has been laid, but there’s still quite a ways to go before this device can fully live up to its potential.
The Apple TV is by no means a must buy in its current form, but after a few software iterations, its value and usefulness will grow. If you’ve already jumped into the game, enjoy this period of watching a new platform evolve and ultimately flourish. If you decide to wait, just know that you aren’t missing anything particularly groundbreaking at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time before you’ll feel compelled to join in on the fun.
Developer Charlie Monroe, creator of the Downie video downloader, among other apps, said that Apple didn’t even send him a message saying it had happened, and for several hours he didn’t know whether he still had a business or not…
Monroe described the experience in a blog post:
On Aug 4, 2023, I woke up to a slightly different world — I had lost my business as it seemed. Full inbox of reports of my apps not launching (crashing on launch) and after not too long I found out that when I sign into my Apple developer account I can no longer see that I would be enrolled into Apple’s developer program […]
After more investigation, I found out that the distribution certificates were revoked — evidently by Apple as no one else has access to them and I was sound asleep when all this happened. Each macOS app these days needs to be co-designed using an Apple-issued certificate so that the app will flawlessly work on all computers. When Apple revokes the certificate, it’s generally a remove kill-switch for the apps.
I got really frightened as all of sudden, no user was able to use my apps anymore […] As it was 7 a.m. (all times are CET), Apple’s contact form only showed the option to send them an email — so I did. At 9 a.m. with my teeth grinding, I went for the phone option where you leave a number and they call you back. Didn’t.
At this point you no longer know whether you have a business or not. Should I quickly go and apply for a job? Or should I try to found another company and distribute the apps under it? What should I do?
He said one of the most alarming aspects of it was the damage to his reputation.
The most damaging to me is the message shown to user:
I really find the above borderlining on slander.
This was echoed by a Downie user.
Hi. I want to let you know that I spent two and a half hours on the phone with @Apple trying to get them to say exactly how Downie (change the name) will harm my computer. They said it was malicious code detected. If that was an error, your reputation has absolutely been harmed.
— chúng tôi (@JTWilliams_me) August 5, 2023
He said that it took Apple 24 hours to partly fix the problem, removing the flags, though that still left him having to recompile, re-sign, and redistribute everything. This was initially done without any contact from Apple.
Apple did later call back, explaining that his account was “erroneously flagged by automated processes as malicious and was put on hold.”
It seems incredible that all this could happen without human intervention. Apple does, of course, have to act swiftly when there is a chance of malware in the Mac App Store, but you would have thought it would have pinged a human being to verify the situation before inconveniencing significant number of Mac users, and potentially doing permanent damage to a developer’s reputation. Most app users will never know the story behind this, only that they bought an app, Apple told them it was malware, and they deleted it as instructed.
It also seems unlikely to help Apple’s antitrust battles, where many are arguing that the company holds too much power over users and developers alike.
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All of today’s best deals are now up for grabs and headlined by the very first Apple Watch Ultra discount. Then go check out the new all-time lows on iPhone 13/mini handsets from $590, which rounds out all of the offers alongside Apple’s official iPhone 14 Plus MagSafe Leather Case at $53. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.Apple Watch Ultra sees first discount
Joining the ongoing Apple Watch Series 8 discounts, the even more rugged all-new wearable from Amazon is joining in on the savings today. Courtesy of Amazon, the very first Apple Watch Ultra discount has arrived at $780 for the 49mm cellular wearable with the green Alpine Loop band. Down from $799, this has been the only chance to save on the recent release since its debut last month, as well as the first time since the launch that the wearable has been readily available to ship.
Apple Watch Ultra arrives as an even more capable and rugged wearable compared to the standard Series 8 or any of its predecessors. Everything about that improved feature set is packed into a titanium case that encircles the larger 49mm screen that’s the brightest Always-On Retina display yet. A more distinct side module encompasses the Digital Crown and side button, rounding out the form-factor change with 100-meter water-resistance. Then there’s all the actual features like 36-hour battery like, dual-frequency GPS, and everything else you can read about over at 9to5Mac.iPhone 13/mini all-time lows emerge from $590
Through the end of today, Woot is kicking up its latest certified refurbished iPhone sale that’s discounting Grade A Refurbished handsets in the process. Shipping is free as always for Prime members, with a $6 delivery fee applying otherwise. Amongst the sale, today is the first time the retailer has marked down prices on iPhone 13 series handsets, with a pair of all-time lows now available. Right now, the unlocked iPhone 13 128GB in one of four colors is now discounted to $680. That’s down from the original $799 going rate and delivers a rare chance to save on the handset, not to mention $119 in savings.
The now previous-generation iPhone 13 arrives as an even better value thanks to the discount today, and comes powered by the A15 Bionic chip. Alongside notably improved battery life compared to predecessors, there’s also that same squared-off design as last time around to pair with the Super Retina XDR display with a smaller notch. There’s also an upgraded camera experience with its more recent Cinematic mode and improved sensors, too.Apple’s official iPhone 14 Plus MagSafe Leather Case sees first discount to $53
The iPhone 14 Plus might have been the last of Apple’s new handsets to begin shipping, but now its official Leather MagSafe case is the first of the lineup to go on sale. Courtesy of Amazon, you can now score the iPhone 14 Plus Leather Case for $53 in Midnight. Down from $59, today’s offer amounts to the very first discount on the recently-released accessory and is of course a new all-time low, as well.
Apple’s official MagSafe case covers your iPhone 14 Plus in a specially tanned and finished leather that’s complemented by machined buttons to round out the premium stylings. Aside from the refreshed design to fit with the latest addition to Apple’s smartphone lineup, there’s much of the expected MagSafe connectivity and overall build that makes this one of the best options on the market for adding some premium protection into the mix.Twelve South’s versatile HoverBar Duo iPad stand drops to $48
The official Twelve South Amazon storefront is currently discounting its HoverBar Duo iPad Stand to $48. Normally fetching as much as $80, today’s offer delivers a new all-time low at 40% off. This is $12 under our previous mention and the first notable markdown in months.
Ready to pair with everything from Apple’s flagship 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro to the compact iPad mini 6, Twelve South HoverBar Duo arrives as quite the versatile tablet accessory. As we’ve come to expect from Twelve South, there’s a premium build that in this case pairs with three points of articulation to help adjust the viewing angle of your device. And living up to its name, HoverBar Duo also has a 2-in-1 design that props up an iPad on a desk or clamp underneath a cabinet. Get a closer look in our launch coverage.UGREEN’s latest DigiNest Pro GaN II charging stations from $70
UGREEN’s official Amazon storefront now offers its DigiNest Pro 100W USB-C GaN Charging Station for $97. Normally fetching $130, you’re looking at a new all-time low of 25% off. This is still one of the first notable discounts and below the previous $110 price cut.Best trade-in deals
9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!
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Judge: Apple can’t be forced to unlock iPhones under All Writs Act
In a case unrelated but entirely relevant to the San Bernardino legal battle, a New York judge has just ruled that Apple cannot be forced to unlock an iPhone for the FBI under the All Writs Act, something George Washington himself had signed into law back in 1789. In this case, the matter revolves around an iPhone belonging to Jun Feng of Queens, New York. The DEA seized his phone while executing a search warrant on Feng’s home back in 2014. When it came time to search the phone, though, law enforcement was stopped by an increasingly contentious issue: the phone was, and still is, encrypted.
Feng, the aforementioned iPhone’s owner, was arrested in summer 2014 and released a short while later, being accused of drug trafficking. Several gadgets described as “mobile devices” were confiscated by law enforcement while raiding Feng’s residence, one of which was his iPhone 5s running iOS 7. Fast-forward to last summer when the DEA sought and was granted a warrant to search the iPhone.
According to a recent court document, law enforcement tried to search the phone, including doing things like turning it on and putting it in airplane mode. Agents couldn’t proceed any further, though, as the phone is locked behind a passcode. The two-week search period ended soon after.
There appears to be no dispute that Apple’s response, consistent with its past practice in at least 70 instances, was that it could and would unlock Feng’s phone for the agents, but only if a court issued a lawful order requiring it to do so. Also consistent with past practice, Apple provided the agents with the specific technical language it deemed sufficient to make clear its obligation to provide the services that would allow the agents to gain access to the iPhone’s passcode-protected data.
As such, the government sought to have Apple unlock the iPhone under the All Writs Act, citing things like past cases and a lack of “unreasonable burden on Apple” to do so. It was in October 2023 that Apple filed its opposition to the government’s application, the legal battle of which has been ongoing since.
In the midst of it all, the government was hit with a big speed bump: Feng plead guilty in the case against him. Because the government sought access to the iPhone in order to get evidence against Feng for use in the case, there was no justifiable reason to proceed with pressing Apple for access. Said the judge, “I promptly directed the government to explain why the Application was not moot.”
The government offered a convoluted — and less than satisfactory — reason as to why Apple should still proceed to unlock the iPhone, and the legal matter has stumble along since.
Apple decided to take the matter head-on, alluding to the ongoing San Bernardino case and others like it. According to the court document:
*bolding added for emphasis
Apple quickly supplied the court with details on nine other cases covering a dozen iPhones in which the government sought to force Apple’s hand under the All Writs Act. The company directly pointed out the ongoing issue in California, stating that the government is seeking “even more burdensome and involved engineering” from Apple in order to crack an iPhone.
The court has ultimately ruled in favor of Apple. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, said:
Ultimately, the question to be answered in this matter, and in others like it across the country, is not whether the government should be able to force Apple to help it unlock a specific device; it is instead whether the All Writs Act resolves that issue and many others like it yet to come. For the reasons set forth above, I conclude that it does not. The government’s motion is denied.
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