Beginning June 1 All New Apple Watch Apps Must Use the Native watchOS 2 SDK

watchOS 2 logo
Here shortly, Apple will officially end support for the original Apple Watch apps, and apps put together with the original watchOS SDK.
Late last night, Apple officially announced that, beginning June 1, all new applications developed for the Apple Watch must use the watchOS 2 SDK (or later) to be supported by the wearable. This is a way to set a minimum standard moving forward for all apps on the Apple Watch, and, for users of Apple’s most personal device to date, it should hopefully mean faster apps on the device across the board. Original Apple Watch apps use the connected iPhone to handle all of the computational muscle, and then stream those results over-the-air to the Apple Watch, causing a bit of a delay.
Apple’s announcement includes the addition that all Apple Watch apps need to be developed with the watchOS 2 SDK or later, which is fitting considering the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is scheduled to run between June 13 and June 17, where it’s expected they will unveil watchOS 3, which should include plenty of additional improvements.
Are you still using your Apple Watch?
[via Apple]

U.S. Government Drops Case against Apple to Unlock iPhone in New York Drug Case

Touch ID on iPhone
The second courtroom battle between the U.S. Justice Department and Apple over the unlocking of an iPhone in a New York drug deal case has ended in the same way as the first one. The government dropped the case on Friday and said in the courtroom that it managed to unlock the iPhone “late last night” by the passcode that it had obtained from one of its sources.

Since the iPhone is now unlocked, the government no longer needs Apple’s help in this matter and is thereby dropping its case. For safety reasons, the U.S. law enforcement agency will not be revealing the name of the source who provided them with the passcode.
“As we have said previously, these cases have never been about setting a court precedent,” Emily Pierce, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. “In this case, an individual provided the department with the passcode to the locked phone at issue.”
Apple had last week refused from helping the Justice Department in unlocking the iPhone in the Brooklyn case. It claimed that the government had not yet tried all other means of unlocking the iPhone, and that the government did not provide enough evidence to confirm that the method used to unlock Farook’s iPhone 5c in the San Bernardino shooting case did not work on the iPhone in question.
Had the case gone ahead, the Justice Department would have likely lost since the 50-page ruling by the magistrate judge supports Apple in the encryption debate.
This is the second time that a showdown between the Apple and the U.S. government has ended with the latter backing out at the last moment. If anything, it is leaving a bad impression of the U.S. government in the public eye.
[Via Bloomberg]

Analyst Believes the ‘iPhone 7’ Won’t Have ‘Many Attractive Selling Points’

iPhone 7 concept by Martin Hajek
This year, following the launch of the iPhone 6s in 2015, Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone, rumored to be called the “iPhone 7,” and, if history is any indicator, the device should feature a physical redesign and new features.
Unfortunately for those trying to read the tea leaves months before Apple gets around to announcing their new flagship smartphone, the expectations are beginning to look a bit dour. At least that’s how it’s beginning to look to KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to a recent research note the analyst has published, Kuo believes that Apple’s 2016 could be less-than-great, and it’s possible the Cupertino-based company could ship fewer iPhones this year than the company did in 2014.
Specifically, in the “worst case scenario,” Apple could ship “only” 190 million iPhones this year. That would be lower than the 193 million that the company shipped back in 2014. However, in the “best case scenario,” Apple could ship 205 million iPhones this year.
It’s probably worth noting that other analysts have predicted Apple will ship between 210 and 230 million iPhones this year.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research note is that Kuo believes Apple will not feature “many attractive selling points” in the iPhone 7. Kuo has echoed that he believes that while Apple will have some form of a redesign in 2016, it will probably not be a big one. And, indeed, early renders of the iPhone 7 suggest Apple is simply moving the antenna bands, but keeping the overall design the same.
More to that, Kuo has previously said that he believes Apple will launch an all-glass iPhone, with an AMOLED display, in 2017. That would coincide with another analyst’s claim that Apple has plans to launch an “iPhone 8,” instead of an “iPhone 7s,” in 2017, which will feature wireless charging (something folks are looking for), OLED display, and no physical Home button.
It’s sounding more and more like Apple is holding off on a major redesign, with plenty of new features, until 2017. Are you okay waiting another year and a half for a truly redesigned iPhone?
[via 9to5Mac]

This Woman Almost Filmed Her Own Death When This 2x4 Flew Into Her Windshield

 Wendy Cobb will probably never forget the 40 seconds you're about to see.

She was driving along a highway in Shelby, North Carolina, when she noticed that two cars in front of her were holding up traffic illegally. Carefully, she took out her iPhone and started filming it, probably with the hopes of reporting it later. That's when a piece of wood came careening through her car's windshield, nearly taking her life...

The two-by-four came dangerously close to Cobb in the car, but luckily none of the shattered glass really affected her.


A Reporter Spotted A Man As He Drove Into Floodwaters...His Reaction Is So Hilarious

Houston has been ravaged by floods recently, and they are truly historic in nature. Six people have died and thousands more have been left without power. The rain totals are breaking records in the area, leaving the city reeling.
In the middle of his report on the weather, KTRK Houston’s reporter Steve Campion witnessed two cars drive straight into the flood waters. At the sight of the second car, Campion felt compelled to intervene and rescue the man driving. All of this during a LIVE BROADCAST! Have a look at this rescue and see Campion's reaction, which is priceless.

Wait...why are you doing that?

  (via Jalopnik)

Kanye West’s Album, ‘The Life of Pablo’, is Now Available on Apple Music

Kanye West The Life of Pablo
Never is a strong word, but apparently not strong enough to actually ring true when it comes to Kanye West and his newest album, “The Life of Pablo.”
Back in February, West released his latest album through the streaming music service, Tidal, of which he’s a major partner and public-facing figure. While Tidal was able to rocket up the App Store charts following the album’s release, it looks like West has “seen the light,” and decided that allowing even more people to listen to the album, and even buy it, is a good thing.
And sure enough, “The Life of Pablo” is now available through Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music. What’s more, if you want to buy it, that’s now a possibility, too. The trick is you’ll have to head over to West’s official site to do that, because it’s not available for purchase through iTunes or other digital storefronts just yet. No, there isn’t any indication that West plans on adding the album to other storefronts to buy, but considering how this all went down, it doesn’t seem like it’s an impossibility, either.
The fact that “The Life of Pablo” is now available to buy, and through Apple Music, means that West completely reversed his position on this. Back in February, when the album dropped, West tweeted out that the album would “never never never be on Apple Music,” adding that it would “never be for sale,” too, just for good measure. Basically, West was drumming up support for Tidal — at least trying to, anyway. That started to change when, recently, West released a single track from the album on Apple Music, signaling this eventual outcome.
Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” on Apple Music

Siri Can Answer Even More of Your Baseball Questions Just in Time for Opening Day

Siri expanded baseball
For many Major League Baseball teams, it’s Opening Day, which means the brand new season is about to get underway. Just in time for the first pitches, Siri‘s baseball knowledge has expanded in a big way.
As first reported by The Verge, Apple has officially updated Siri to answer even more of your detailed baseball-specific questions. That even includes asking the digital personal assistant queries that date back to the sport’s beginning. Siri will now offer up answers for career statistics of specific players, like Babe Ruth, and Siri can now give you feedback on 28 other leagues, including the Minors, too.
Apple expanded Siri’s functionality with sports scores way back in 2012, with the release of iOS 6. However, for the true fans of a particular sport, just asking what the score is probably isn’t enough. Apple giving Siri the ability to pull up records that go back many, many years is pretty great, and for anyone caught with a particular baseball trivia question, it sounds like Siri could come to the rescue.
However, as the original report notes, some of Siri’s responses are still not as full-fledged as others. For example, asking the digital personal assistant, “When was the last time the Yankees had a perfect game?” only brings up a general search query about the team in question, and not an actual answer. There’s still some work to be done, it seems, but Apple’s continuously working on improving Siri. In fact, the digital personal assistant is said to be a major tentpole feature in an upcoming version of OS X.
And this isn’t the first big news for Apple and MLB, as it was reported recently that Apple will supply team managers in their dugouts with iPad Pros.
[via The Verge]

iPhone 7 Plus to Exclusively Come with a Dual-Camera Setup

In a new note issued to investors by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will keep the dual-lens camera system exclusive to the bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Reports about Apple employing a dual-lens camera system on the iPhone due to be released later this year have been circulating since the last few months.

With iPhones now trailing Android smartphones in camera performance, Apple really needs to step up its game in the regard. The dual-lens camera system might just allow the company to do so, and make the iPhone a leader in smartphone camera performance once again.
The only difference in terms of camera between the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is the lack of OIS on the former, but the lack of a dual-lens camera setup on the smaller iPhone 7 might force consumers to shift to a larger iPhone this year.
Ming-Chi Kuo says in his note that many other Android smartphones that will be launched before the iPhone 7 Plus this year will also feature a dual-camera system, though their first impressions might be underwhelming.
A report from February from this year claimed that Apple had already started receiving dual-lens camera components from its suppliers for testing.
Reports surrounding the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus indicate that both handsets will sport a waterproof design. To make the handsets even thinner, Apple will also be ditching the 3.5mm audio jack from them and instead present Lightning port as a replacement for it.
[Via MacRumors]

9.7-Inch iPad Pro Teardown Reveals Use of Copious Amount of Glue and An Almost Impossible To Repair Design

9.7-inch iPad Pro
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro went on sale in quite a few markets of the world last week, and today, courtesy of iFixit, the first teardown of the tablet is now live. The teardown reveals quite a few interesting tidbits about the smaller iPad Pro from Apple. 
Just like its elder brother and unlike the iPad Air lineup, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro makes use of EMI shielding to protect the logic board from any unregulated radio interference. Apple has also used new antenna interconnect boards to provide further rigidity to the display of the new iPad Pro.
9.7-inch iPad Pro teardown
The iFixit team also notes that majority of the area inside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is occupied by its 27.91 Whr battery, which is just a wee bit larger than the 27.52 Whr battery found inside the iPad Air. On the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the four stereo speakers occupied the most area.
In the end, the iFixit team gives the 9.7-inch iPad Pro a repairability score of 2 out of 10. This essentially means that carrying any in-house repair on the tablet is a recipe for disaster. The iFixit team notes that the fused front panel on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro dramatically increases the cost of a screen repair, and the chances of damaging the LCD when opening the tablet. Plus, the copious amount of adhesive used by Apple to hold everything in place does not help matters either.
[Via iFixit]

HP Says Its next Laptop Will Be Better than the MacBook

HP will announce its next laptop on Tuesday, and the company is confident that fans will love it. In fact, it thinks it’s so good that it will replace Apple’s MacBook as “the driver of innovation.”
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal ahead of its event tomorrow, HP PC chief Ron Coughlin said that “for years, Apple has been seen as the innovator and the driver of innovation.” But with its new premium notebook, “HP is really taking over that mantle.”
Given how popular Apple’s laptops are — and the critical acclaim they get for being the best in the business in almost all areas — that’s a big promise to make. Not only will HP’s new notebook have to be prettier than Apple’s, but it will also need stellar battery life and premium features.
For years, Apple’s machines have been praised for their displays, keyboards, trackpads, and battery life. They’re also terrific performers; even the new MacBook with its fanless Intel Core M chip is capable of fulfilling the needs of most consumers.
HP has been following Apple’s laptops closely for a number of years. Some of its more recent releases — such as the Elitebook Folio that was announced at CES back in January — are very close to being straight up MacBook clones.
HP’s new machine is expected to be even thinner than that Elitebook Folio, which measures less than half an inch thick, and will cater to consumers who just want a laptop that’s a laptop — not a laptop/tablet hybrid like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on HP’s event on Tuesday, and we’ll let you know whether we think HP really can take down the MacBook with its next notebook.
[Wall Street Journal via The Verge]