Apple on Thursday confirmed that it will hold a media event on Sept. 9, with a teaser sent to members of the media showcasing the date and a teasing tagline that reads: "Wish we could say more."
In a change from years past, Apple's 2014 September event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif. Apple typically holds its annual iPhone event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
The Tuesday event will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will be there with full, live coverage.
In addition to the "iPhone 6," Apple is also expected to unveil a brand new wearable device at this year's event. The hardware is rumored to be a wrist-worn accessory that has come to be known as the "iWatch."
Word of the anticipated inclusion of the "iWatch" at the event leaked this week and is somewhat of a surprise, as it was originally expected that the device would be unveiled later this year. The Sept. 9 event date was first reported by Re/code earlier this month.
Unsurprising, however, is the likely unveiling of the "iPhone 6," as the event will come almost exactly one year after the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were revealed. This year's iPhone upgrade is rumored to come in two screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches with a faster next-generation "A8" processor.
If Apple follows its usual release schedule, the new iPhone would find its way into the hands of consumers starting the following Friday, Sept. 19. With a plethora of parts leaks surfacing in recent weeks, particularly for the purported 4.7-inch model, it's believed that Apple is already ramping up production of the "iPhone 6."
Less certain, however, is when the "iWatch" might become available. As of yet, there have been no parts leaked for the expected wearable accessory, and rumored details about the device's design have been inconsistent on everything from shape to screen size.
It's also likely that iOS 8, Apple's next-generation operating system, will launch to the public not long after the Sept. 9 event. If the company follows the same pattern as last year, iOS 8 would become available to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
In a notice to developers on Tuesday, Apple announced availability of new iAd options including pre-roll video and full-screen interstitial banner ads for iOS apps, as well as support for Russia and Switzerland.
Word of the iAd expansion first came in March, while a developer document posted to Apple's Developer Portal in June (PDF link) outlined integration of pre-roll and full-screen banner ads.
As noted by Apple, the new options are now available for developers and advertisers, opening up new avenues of revenue for so-called "freemium" apps.
Now you can deliver highly engaging ads from leading brands. Optimized for your app, pre-roll video and full-screen interstitial banner ads are now available on iOS.
Full-screen interstitial banners allow a single ad to be displayed as a full page of content either as a static element or a transitional screen sandwiched between two app sections. Due to their prominent placement, interstitials command a higher price than the usual banner-type iAds seen at the top or bottom of ad-supported apps.
Pre-roll video spots also garner higher ad rates than header/footer and MREC (medium rectangle) banners. With Apple's version, video ads automatically appear for users in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios and come in 15, 30 or 60-second blocks.
In addition to the ad buffs, Apple also announced iAd availability in Russia and Switzerland and in doing so expanded the iAd App Network to a total of 16 regions.
Students use iPads at St. Paul's Hamline Elementary
Minnesota's St. Paul School District is preparing to deploy tens of thousands of iPads to students in 37 schools around the city, marking another victory for Apple in education even as a similar program in Los Angeles comes under fire.
The district's plan appears somewhat different from others, who have carefully stage-managed the use of iPads in the classroom, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. St. Paul officials compared the usefulness of the iPad to a pencil, saying that the most important benefit is giving children the ability to be creative.
"As educators, we have the luxury of whether to use the tool or not," Hamline Elementary Principal Craig Anderson told the paper. "But kids are not going to have the option of living in a world that doesn't use technology."
The district has also identified a number of "core apps" for use on the devices. Apple's own iWork suite, iTunes U, iMovie, and iBooks are among those chosen, alongside utility apps like classroom management system Socrative and image manipulation app Skitch.
Rather than purchasing the tablets outright, the school district will lease them from Apple. The cost of the program — which also appears to include more than 1,000 MacBooks — will begin at $5.7 million per year for the initial rollout and rise to around $8 million once all 61 schools in the district are outfitted.
The St. Paul intiative comes on the heels of the suspension of Apple's $1 billion agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District, following charges that district administrators tailored the bidding process to benefit Apple and content provider Pearson. Despite the setback, Apple continues to win new rollouts and commands more than 90 percent of the education tablet market.
In a new patent discovered on Tuesday, Apple details a flexible mobile device screen that deforms to reveal buttons hidden beneath its surface, accepts sound and pressure input and provides haptic feedback.
As awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's U.S Patent No. 8,816,977 for "Electronic devices with flexible displays" incorporates one or more flexible display layers overlaid atop actuators, buttons, switches, sliders, speakers, microphones and more.
In some embodiments, the system combines a flexible display layer, such as a compatible OLED substrate, with a similarly flexible capacitive touchscreen layer, which is then covered by a flexible or rigid cover. As the assembly is flexible, users can interact with components installed beneath.
According to one example, buttons or other control structures receive input from a user's finger or other object as it pushes onto the display, thus deforming it and transferring force onto a sensor. Certain systems can extend the device's active screen area by replacing external controls — like an iPhone's home button — with internal counterparts.
Illustration of sub-display structural component delineating position of embedded button.
Since the display is flexible, components positioned beneath can create an interactive raised structure that serves as a user input. When force is applied, the display deforms and activates the internal button, dome switch or other sensor before returning to its natural shape.
Alternatively, internal actuators can be made to press upward against the flexible layers to create temporary ridges, points or other shapes on the display surface, with each region made active or inactive to user input. For example, ridges can be used to outline a grid pattern corresponding to an onscreen keyboard.
Another implementation would include passive raised structures that force users to deform the display in order to reach an active sensor or switch. This use case lets operators "feel" for a button on the display without looking at the phone or activating a command prematurely. ... [Read More]
Sound and localized vibrations, also known as haptics, are also good candidates for the technology, as speakers, microphones and vibration motors can be placed in key positions for dynamic feedback to user input. In some cases, the flexible display itself serves as an input module integrated into a microphone or pressure-sensing component.
For example, a simple coil and magnet speaker can drive a diaphragm integrated with a device display to output sound through the screen.
Technical oversights on the part of some of the iOS ecosystem's most prominent developers — including Facebook and Google — could allow attackers to exploit a documented iOS feature that allows apps to initiate phone calls without a prompt, spurring reminders that iPhone owners should be careful what they tap on.
Romanian developer Andrei Neculaesei discovered that some apps do not properly account for tel: URIs — which pass a telephone number to the handset's dialer much like a mailto: URI would open the Mail app — in embedded web views. Because Apple allows app developers to bypass confirmation prompts when calling the dialer from within their apps, a specially-crafted web page could cause users to initiate telephone or FaceTime calls against their will.
Tapping a malicious link from within the official Gmail app could, for example, force users to call an expensive toll number. Other popular apps affected by the oversight include Facebook Messenger and Google+.
While the issue does not represent a flaw on Apple's part, it seems likely that the company will implement changes to save developers from themselves, perhaps by altering the default behavior of such links to draw a confirmation prompt as they do when tapped in mobile Safari.
Though it is a relatively low-grade problem, it does serve to remind users that they should exercise caution when opening messages or tapping links from people that they do not know. Malware authors depend almost entirely upon consumers' lack of such basic precautions.
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