Monday Morning News

apple-a1844-fcc-filingA rumour from Bloomberg says Apple is gearing up to release an Amazon Echo-like smart home device. Just like how Amazon’s Echo recognises voice input, Apple’s smart home device would use Siri to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains. It’s also possible Apple will be setting themselves apart from Echo and Google’s Home projects by using more advanced speaker and microphone tech, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Over the weekend Apple released iOS 10.0.2, a minor update which fixes the playback controls on Lightning headphones and the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter on the iPhone 7. The update also fixes an issue relating to Photos closing when enabling iCloud Photo Library, and allows app extensions to be enabled more reliably.

Cracking the password on encrypted iOS 10 backups from iTunes is about 2500 times faster compared to iOS 9 and earlier. According to Elcomsoft, it’s because iOS 10 skips certain security checks, allowing much faster password cracking. The good news is, Apple are aware of the issue and are working on a fix, saying that the issue only affects local iTunes backups, not backups stored in iCloud.

Apple has submitted a mystery wireless device with Bluetooth and NFC to the FCC, and that’s about all we know. Apple has asked for permanent confidentiality for the device, which has a model identifier that doesn’t match up to any known Apple product and appears to have two screws and at least two curved edges. It’s possible that it’s a device designed for internal use.

TechCrunch says Apple will soon be launching spoken editions of written content. To begin with, iTunes’ Spoken Editions will be from the likes of Time, Wired, Forbes, and others will be available, containing the same content as their online text versions, only in an audio format so you can have your news and reporting spoken to you.

Amidst the new iPhone and new Apple Watch hype, almost no one caught the new additions to Apple’s Watch bands. New colours have been added to Apple Watch Sport Bands, with Woven Nylon and Classic Buckle getting the same treatment. Meanwhile, other Watch bands such as the Leather Loop and Modern Buckle get less colours, not more.

Emojipedia’s iOS 10 emoji changelog breaks down some of the changes to emoji in iOS 10. There’s 37 new emoji amongst 632 emoji changes in total, with notable additions including female versions of previously male-emojis, single-parent families, and a rainbow flag emoji.

TechCrunch labels it as one of the best battery saving hacks for your iPhone, but really it’s about how Apple killed the ability to launch Settings from apps in iOS 10. It means apps can no longer open Settings directly to a page besides their own settings, negating any benefit gained from setting up your own Workflow to turn on low-battery mode.

Ben Brooks writes that the iPhone upgrade program was handled poorly this time around, starting with questioning eligibility and requiring a store visit in order to get a new device.

The Mac Observer is holding out hope that there will be a successor to the iPhone SE that has upgraded internals that will be released in a couple of months, but I’m not so sure. For now, the iPhone SE represents the best option for people who prefer smaller screens.

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