Rumour: Apple iOS 6 to bring Siri API and Siri for iPad [Rumor]

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    Rumour: Apple iOS 6 to bring Siri API and Siri for iPad [Rumor]

    Will Apple's sultry secretary hop into bed with the iPad?


    Apple may introduce Siri for iPad when the company unveils the new iOS 6 software, heavily-tipped to arrive at WWDC next month.

    The voice-controlled personal assistant is, at present, only available for the iPhone 4S, but Apple may be about to expand her reach, according to reports.


    The report follows yesterday's revelation that the company could finally put an end to the speculation and launch its own 3D mapping service, finally doing away with Google Maps.
    Whispers

    TechCrunch reckons the Siri rumours are one of only a few whispers regarding what Apple has in store for the latest version of its mobile operating system.

    MG Siegler write: "There have been whispers backing up Gruber's (Daring Fireball editor Jon Gruber) assertion that Siri APIs are another possibility.

    "There have also been whispers about Siri for iPad finally coming. Specifically, I've been led to believe it's more of a UI issue than anything else. After all, Apple is using the technology for the Dictation functionality found on the new iPad. They've just been working on what Siri for iPad will look like, I've been led to believe."
    While the company is yet to confirm whether it will indeed launch iOS 6 at WWDC next month, tradition would suggest it will.

    5-12-12

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    4" screens for Apple's next iPhone will be built as soon as June

    A trio of screen suppliers are reportedly gearing up to begin production of 4-inch displays for Apple's next iPhone as soon as next month, putting the device on track for a fall launch.


    LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display Inc. have all been tapped to build the new, larger screens for Apple, and they will be built as quickly as June, according to Reuters. That means production of the sixth-generation iPhone could begin as soon as August — just in time for the anticipated fall launch.

    The details corroborate an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal, which also cited anonymous sources in claiming that Apple has begun ordering screens at least 4 inches in size for its next iPhone. However, the Journal's report did not specify an iPhone production timeline of August, while those who spoke with Reuters gave more specifics on the manufacturing window for the next iPhone.

    Both reports did not include Samsung among the list of potential suppliers for the display of the next iPhone. Though they are fierce rivals in the technology industry, Samsung is also a key supplier of Apple, and was the sole supplier of high-resolution Retina displays for the third-generation iPad at launch.

    LG and Sharp have provided screens for Apple in the past, but the inclusion of Japan Display Inc. would be a new partnership for the company. Japan Display Inc. is a new creation brokered by the Japanese government that combined the display production operations of three separate companies.





    All three screen suppliers are said to be "likely" to receive production orders from Apple, setting them up to begin building the 4-inch displays in June. The next iPhone is expected to launch about a year after the debut of the iPhone 4S, which hit the market in October of 2011.

    Neither of Wednesday's reports offered any specifics on the screen of the next iPhone aside from a 4-inch diagonal size. Earlier reports have suggested the next iPhone will be the same width as the previous-generation models that featured a 3.5-inch screen, which would mean the 4-inch display would bring about a new aspect ratio.

    Apple's apparent move toward a larger iPhone display has been portrayed as a "competitive response" to the Samsung Galaxy S III, unveiled earlier this month. Samsung's new flagship smartphone features a 4.8-inch AMOLED screen that is 1.3 inches larger than the iPhone 4S.

    5-16-12

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    Apple ordering screens sized at least 4" for next iPhone - WSJ

    Apple has begun placing orders for a new, larger screen that will measure at least four inches diagonally, according to a new report.


    The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the next iPhone is "expected" to feature a screen larger than the 3.5-inch display that has been found on the iPhone since it first launched in 2007. Production of the screens is reportedly set to begin in the next few months, and it will measure "at least 4 inches diagonally."

    Apple is said to be working with a number of screen manufacturers for the larger display on the next iPhone, including LG Display, Sharp, and a new company, Japan Display Inc., that was created last month by three Japanese companies and the government. Wednesday's report made no mention of Samsung as a display partner.

    Rumors have suggested for some time that the next iPhone will be a major redesign, overhauling the look of the handset that has remained since the launch of the iPhone 4 in mid-2010. A larger screen would be a major change for the device, and could require developers to update their applications to take advantage of the larger display.

    Apple's rumored shift comes as competitors continue to offer smartphones with larger screens. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy S II, which features a 4.8-inch display, is the new flagship device for the company.

    Samsung's Galaxy Note also features a massive 5.3-inch stylus-driven display that the company has advertised offers both the best of a smartphone and of a tablet. The device was cited by the company in its quarterly earnings in April as a strong seller.





    As rumors of an iPhone with a larger screen have continued to crop up, various renderings have been put together online by enthusiasts who have speculated that a larger screen would result in a slightly taller iPhone adding more pixels to the top and bottom of the screen. One report from earlier this month claimed the next iPhone will be the same width as the current iPhone 4S, meaning the new screen would have a different aspect ratio than previous generation models.

    With a 4-inch display, the iOS home screen could theoretically fit another row of icons on the home screen, bringing the total number to six. Applications written for the iPhone 4S and earlier handsets could simply feature black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, using the same aspect ratio and screen space as it would on the earlier devices.

    4-16-12

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    iOS 6 to Bring Systemwide Facebook Integration



    TechCrunch reports that iOS 6 will include system-level integration of Facebook, similar to the integration seen with Twitter in iOS 5. The report comes just days after Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke positively about Facebook at the D10 Conference, closing his thoughts on the relationship between Apple and Facebook with the suggestive phrase "stay tuned".

    After much speculation, Facebook integration will indeed be baked into the latest version of iOS, we’ve learned. [...]

    To be clear, Twitter will still very much be a part of the new iOS (presumably named “iOS 6″ and codenamed “Sundance“), and that company will be holding sessions at WWDC to chat more about the continued partnership (including the integration into the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion). But Facebook integration will be very important for iOS — tons of apps use Facebook for sign-ups and authentication (many use Facebook as the only way to do this, to the dismay of some). Apple was undoubtedly watching this activity and realized that it was time to formally bring Facebook on board.

    TechCrunch notes that Apple and Facebook are still working out how sharing items to Facebook will be integrated, given the varying levels of permissions on Facebook posts. The report also includes the caveat that Apple has been known to change its mind in the past, but as of right now Facebook integration is reportedly set to be unveiled in iOS 6 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference later this month.

    6-2-12

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    New iPhone to debut with Dual-Band 40nm BCM4334 Broadcom Wi-Fi, significant power sav

    As part of our meanderings through the dump on a prototype of the next iPhone, we discovered some of the new chips that are going into these devices. Lots of them.

    One such part that we have not talked about is the Broadcom BCM4334 that has been found in code dumps. The BCM4334 is a step up from the 65nm BCM4330 used on the “new” iPad and the iPhone 4S, and it is notably built on a smaller, more efficient 40nm process.


    From AnandTech:

    BCM4334 which is the follow-up part to BCM4330 that we’ve seen in a bunch of devices. BCM4334 changes from a 65nm process to 40nm LP, which itself offers a power profile reduction. The change isn’t a simple die shrink either, Broadcom says it has worked on and refined the existing BCM4330 design and reduced power a further 40-50% and dramatically reduced standby power by 3 orders of magnitude. I asked Broadcom to give me a realistic estimate of power consumption – BCM4330 in full Rx mode consumes around 68mA, BCM4334 consumes 36mA at the same voltage, just to give an example of the reduction. Air interfaces don’t change between BCM4330 and BCM4334.
    So, we are looking at nearly half the power required for Wi-Fi. That should add some power savings to offset the bigger screen and LTE radios. The power savings will also help Apple to make a thinner phone with a thinner battery.

    Along with now-standard stuff like Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radios, this chip also features dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct. From Broadcom:




    The Broadcom BCM4334 single-chip dual-band combo chip provides a complete wireless connectivity system with ultra-low power consumption for mass market smartphone devices. Using advanced design techniques and 40nm process technology to reduce active and idle power, the BCM4334 is designed to address the needs of highly mobile devices that require minimal power consumption and compact size while delivering dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. The chip includes IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n single-stream MAC/baseband/radio, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, and an integrated FM radio receiver. It is designed to be used with external 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz front-end modules, which include power amplifiers, T/R switches and optional low noise amplifiers. The combo device also features advanced switching techniques that enable concurrent dual-band operation to simultaneously support network connectivity with one band while also allowing content streaming via technologies such as Wi-Fi Display and Wi-Fi Direct.
    While Apple is not likely to use Wi-Fi Display over its own AirPlay protocol, Wi-Fi Direct/Adhoc on the second Wi-Fi connection would seem to be directed at something pretty interesting…

    So, we are looking at nearly half the power required for Wi-Fi. That should add some power savings to offset the bigger screen and LTE radios. The power savings will also help Apple to make a thinner phone with a thinner battery.

    Along with now-standard stuff like Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radios, this chip also features dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct. From Broadcom:

    The Broadcom BCM4334 single-chip dual-band combo chip provides a complete wireless connectivity system with ultra-low power consumption for mass market smartphone devices. Using advanced design techniques and 40nm process technology to reduce active and idle power, the BCM4334 is designed to address the needs of highly mobile devices that require minimal power consumption and compact size while delivering dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. The chip includes IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n single-stream MAC/baseband/radio, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, and an integrated FM radio receiver. It is designed to be used with external 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz front-end modules, which include power amplifiers, T/R switches and optional low noise amplifiers. The combo device also features advanced switching techniques that enable concurrent dual-band operation to simultaneously support network connectivity with one band while also allowing content streaming via technologies such as Wi-Fi Display and Wi-Fi Direct.
    While Apple is not likely to use Wi-Fi Display over its own AirPlay protocol, Wi-Fi Direct/Adhoc on the second Wi-Fi connection would seem to be directed at something pretty interesting…




    6-2-12

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    iOS 6 to feature redesigned iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore



    According to sources familiar with Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 mobile software offering, the company’s three major digital stores will see design overhauls. The overhauls are said to be major and they focus on improved interactivity when making purchases in iTunes, the App Store, and the iBookstore. Social is a big piece of the store overhauls, and Facebook integration is being tested in the iTunes Store portion, at least.

    The most interesting part about this, we think, is that these new stores will not include improved discoverability on the backend. Apple recently acquired a company called Chomp that focuses on improved discoverability of applications. While Apple plans to use the Chomp technology across their three digital stores, the implementation will not be ready in time for the iOS 6 launch.

    Apple is still planning to roll out complementary store redesigns for computers later this year.

    6-2-12

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    26% larger 16x9 iPhone screen would retain single-hand operability

    By making a new iPhone with a taller, 4.08-inch screen, Apple could offer users the benefits of a larger 16-by-9 display while also retaining the ability to operate the device while holding it with just one hand.


    As reported earlier Wednesday by AppleInsider, Apple's next iPhone is expected to have a new display with an exact size of 4.08 inches. It will remain a Retina display with a resolution of 1,136 by 640 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16 by 9, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

    By retaining a screen width of 640 pixels, the next iPhone is expected to grow only in length. At an estimated 1,136 pixels tall, it would become a 16-by-9 display, an aspect ratio the same as high-definition TV content and HDTV sets.

    But more importantly than the ability to natively view 16-by-9 content, the 4.08-inch iPhone screen would also allow users to continue to operate Apple's handset by using just one hand. According to Kuo, Apple takes single-handed use of the iPhone "very seriously," and wishes to maintain that ability with its next handset.

    On smartphones wider than the iPhone 4S, it becomes more difficult for users to safely hold the handset in their hand while simultaneously stretching their thumb across to operate it. The wider the screen, the larger the potential for an area of the screen to become out of reach, requiring users to use two hands to operate the device.

    The width of the screen is of particular importance when typing on the virtual keyboard in iOS. If Apple were to increase the width of the display, a right-handed user might have difficulty reaching letters on the left side of the keyboard when operating with a single hand.




    The larger 16-by-9 screen could also make typing on the virtual keyboard easier when the handset is used with two hands in landscape mode. The additional space in that orientation would make the individual keys larger and easier to hit.

    While the user interface is said to be the driving force behind Apple switching to a 16-by-9 screen with the same width, it is not the only benefit that could be seen with a display that measures 4.08 inches diagonally. Keeping the width of the next iPhone screen the same 640 pixels would also ensure that existing iOS applications written for the iPhone 4S and prior will still run on the device, simply with black "letterbox" bars on the top and bottom.


    "If developers don't want to adapt software for iPhone 5, the App can still successfully show on the screen except for the blackened areas on two flanks," Kuo wrote. "That, however, won't prevent the app from functioning the way it's supposed to."

    Kuo also doesn't think Apple will go any larger than a 4.08-inch diagonal display because of battery life. A KGI Research survey of smartphone screen sizes and accompanying battery sizes found that batteries in smartphones with 4.3-inch displays must be "visibly bigger" to provide enough uptime.





    For example, Kuo noted the the iPhone 4S and its 3.5-inch display has a battery capacity of 1,430mAh, while the 4.3-inch HTC sensation has a battery capacity of 1,520mAh, the 4.5-inch Sony Xperia ion is 1,950mAh, and the 4.7-inch LG Optimus 4X HD is 2,150mAh.

    With a 4.08-inch screen, the new iPhone will presumably also become longer. Kuo said this should provide a better phoning experience for users, as the handset's speaker will be located slightly closer to the mouth when the iPhone is held up to the ear.

    The next iPhone screen is also expected to use in-cell touch panels that will make it 0.4 millimeters thinner. A new metal back could result in further reduced thickness of 0.96 millimeters, which would allow the next iPhone to measure just 7.9 millimeters thick —noticeably thinner than the 9.3-millimeter-thick iPhone 4S.

    In all, the 4.08-inch display rumored to be the centerpiece of Apple's next iPhone would be 26 percent larger than the screen found on the iPhone 4S. Packing 320 pixels per inch, it would have a length of 90.3 millimeters, and a width of 50.9 millimeters.




    6-6-12

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    Apple Announces iOS 6 with Siri Improvements, Facebook Integration, New Maps App



    At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple announced the next version of its operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. iOS 6 will feature new functionality for Siri, Facebook integration, a revamped Maps app, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and more.

    iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software. “We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app.

    In iOS 6, Siri will gain new capabilities to provide sports scores and schedules, make restaurant reservations via OpenTable, find local movie listings and even launch apps. Siri will also debut in new languages including Spanish, Italian, and French.

    Facebook integration will be much like the current Twitter integration in iOS 5 with a system-wide log-in and the ability to quickly post from within apps. Contacts can be updated automatically using information obtained through Facebook. Third-party developers will be able to add this functionality easily with a public API.

    A new Do Not Disturb mode allows users to schedule when notifications should not cause any sounds or visual alerts. The iPhone's Phone app will get new options to reply with a text message or prompt a reminder to return a call later when an incoming call arrives.

    Shared Photo Streams lets you choose photos to share with selected family and friends. Shared photos can be viewed by others on iOS devices, iPhoto and Aperture on a Mac, or on the web or through an Apple TV.

    Passbook is a new wallet app that will consolidate payment cards and electronic tickets. For example, customers at Starbucks can make payments using their Gold Card through Passbook. Also, movie tickets purchased through Fandango can be redeemed through Passbook. Airline boarding passes and even sporting event tickets will be accessible through Passbook as well. A new API will offer developers access to Passbook.

    As expected, Apple has revamped the Maps app with its own map data. It will offer integration with Yelp for business listings and traffic information sourced anonymously and in real-time from iOS users. Turn-by-turn navigation will also debut in the new Maps app and guidance can be triggered by Siri.

    iOS 6 will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, 2nd-generation iPad and later, and the 4th-generation iPod touch and will be available in the fall. A beta will be available to developers today.


    6-11-12

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