Apple is set to reveal iOS 7 at WWDC in two weeks, and sources have provided details on radical interface changes made to Apple's mobile device software. 9to5Mac reports that Jony Ive, Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design (in charge of both Apple hardware and software design,) has led the charge in giving iOS an entirely fresh coat of paint.
People familiar with the matter are describing iOS 7 as "black, white, and flat all over." In other words, the skeuomorphic textures are going away in favor of a new black and white interface that does away with a lot of the over-the-top shininess and glossiness.
For the upcoming operating system, which Apple says will be unveiled at its June Worldwide Developers Conference, Ive has not simply picked areas of the software design to tweak. He has essentially made his mark on every corner of the operating system, according to descriptions from sources, all while mostly keeping the essence of what has made iOS so ubiquitous.
The rumor mill has been buzzing with regards to significant changes that will be coming to AppleCare, Apple's popular standard and extended warranty program. Interestingly, it appears that AppleCare support for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is about to become much more of a pain for customers. This marks a significant change where Apple will seemingly make a decision to make the customer service experience worse rather than better, all in the name of saving a ton of money.
Nike is hard at work on the next iteration of its popular Nike+ FuelBand, and we've got the details on what to expect, thanks to getting to spend a few short minutes with the device during a recent business trip. From the look and sound of things, aside from a handful of new features and tracking metrics, Nike is also set to make the Nike+ API a bit more robust as well, allowing developers to tap into your tracking data. Now let's talk about the changes and improvements:
Apple is set to show off OS X 10.9 at WWDC 2013 (which sold out in less than two minutes this year) and the current rumors point to the inclusion of a tabbed Finder and iOS-style multitasking that will allow background apps to pause, freeing system resources up for the apps you are using at the time. Additionally, the Mission Control complaint that users with multiple monitors have been complaining about since the release of OS X 10.7 Lion will finally be addressed--if you have multiple monitors, you'll be able to have a space open on each one.
Other rumor mill nuggets point to both Siri and Apple Maps making their OS X debuts as well. We'll know more on June 10 when WWDC kicks off!
Read More | 9to5Mac
It looks like Verizon Wireless is set to finally offer the Nokia Lumia 928, giving Verizon a flagship Windows Phone 8 device, starting next month. While no formal announcements have been made, two people familiar with the details have confirmed it. Since flagship Lumia smartphones in the US have typically been AT&T exclusives, it'll be interesting to see what the Verizon effect will have on sales. The Lumia 928 will have an aluminum enclosure rather than the polycarbonate Lumias that we're used to, with a 4.5-inch display, 8-megapixel camera, and wireless charging capabilities.
Analysts are reporting that the Apple iPhone 5S is set to be delayed because of problems Apple is having with integrating a fingerprint sensor. The issue seemingly stems from the color coating of the paint and getting it to work with the rumored fingerprint sensor that will be a part of the iPhone 5S. The end result is that the next iPhone, the lower-cost budget iPhone, and the next iPad mini will all launch closer to September rather than the June/July timeframe.
One important note here: Apple has never specified a release date for the iPhone 5S (or even the existence of the device itself,) so to call this a delay seems disingenuous. These delays are really based on the best guesses of the analysts in the first place. In other words, this "delay" really is the analysts saying their guesses were wrong, but not taking the blame.
Read More | Reuters
It looks like Microsoft is set to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, a mainstay of the Windows OS that was removed in Windows 8. According to a report from The Verge, the new Windows 8.1 Start button will not include the traditional Start button functionality, but will rather be a method of taking you back to the Start screen. In addition to the Start button making a reappearance (in name, at least,) Microsoft is also said to be including a feature that will allow users to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start screen altogether.
Read More | The Verge
The big iPhone rumor this year is that Apple will release a lower-cost model with a polycarbonate plastic backing, similar to the one found on the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Today, an image has cropped up that purports to show the rear shell of the budget model iPhone. As you can see, it's similar in size to the iPhone 4, and is mostly flat, rather than the rounded 3G/3GS design. Tactus, the company that is making the claims, also has other details:
I’ve also heard on the grapevine that the alleged budget iPhone will have an A5 processor like the iPad Mini with a 32nm diecast. It’s also rumoured it will have a 3.5 inch retina screen, much like the 4S, but not as big as the iPhone 5 … I’ve also discovered the factory producing this secretive project have confirmed the device will be available in Black, White, Blue, Red and Yellow.
A multi-colored low-cost iPhone? What do you think?
Read More | Tactus
We are about half-way through the iPhone 5 product cycle, and that means it's time for iPhone 5S parts to start leaking. Today, iLab factory is showing what is purported to be flex cables for the iPhone 5S home button, vibrator, volume/mute buttons, and the front camera. Interestingly, the mute switch seems to have gone away, replaced by a mute button instead. As always, these should be taken with a grain of salt, but Apple is definitely set to start ramping up production of the next iPhone since it won't be long before it's introduced to the masses. These parts may also be reserved for the rumored lower-cost iPhone, rather than the iPhone 5S. Time will tell.
Read More | iLab
Word on the street is that Apple is behind schedule on iOS 7 due to the management shakeup that occurred when Scott Forstall was ousted from the company. Jony Ive has taken over as head of hardware and software design, and with that will come sweeping design changes within iOS. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has gone so far as to say that he's heard that Apple has had to pull engineers off os OS X 10.9 in order to help get iOS 7 ready for release.
It may sound odd, but Apple actually took a similar strategy back in 200, pulling developers off of OS X 10.5 Leopard in order to ensure that the iPhone would be ready on time, resulting in a four-month delay for the desktop OS. Of course, Apple had a lot less software engineers working on iPhone software back then, so it's pretty telling that with the expansive growth, there are still challenges getting iOS 7 out of door.
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