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Apple Loop: iPhone 13’s Stunning Features, Massive Apple Podcast Problem, Shock MacBook Pro Details – Forbes

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Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes new iPhone 13 details, updated release dates, Apple’s new screen technology, NSFW App Store problems, iCloud on Windows 10, an Apple Pencil for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro release discussion, FlickType discontinued, virtual iPhone saga continues, and Apple’s podcast problem.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

The New iPhone Gets Something Bigger

With production under way ahead of the launch of the iPhone 13 family, it’s hard to hide the components that are going to be used, with the supply chain analysts at Wedbush confident that we’re getting at least one model with LiDAR scanning, and at least model with a 1 TB storage option:

“From a spec perspective, we have increased confidence that iPhone 13 will have an eye-popping 1 terabyte storage option which is double from the highest Pro storage capacity today (512GB) and will also include a number of key enhancements with Lidar across all iPhone 13 models.” 

(WedBush via 9to5Mac).

New Apple Release Dates 

Mark Gurmna has rounded up the expected hardware releases for Apple in September and October. There’s no huge surprises; the iPhone 13 family will launch alongside the Apple Watch 7 and AirPods; a refresh of the iPad and iPad Mini; and the MacBook Pro release “by the time of the second anniversary of the current MacBook Pro.”

“Expect major changes to the smallest iPad, the highest-end Apple notebooks and the entry-level AirPods. The iPhone won’t get quite as big an upgrade, but it remains Apple’s star. The company is expecting one of the biggest iPhone launch cycles ever, projecting the need for over 90 million shipments through calendar 2021 as the world shifts to 5G and economic recoveries spur spending.” 

(Bloomberg).

Screens For The Future 

Apple may be planning for a future with miniLED displays the signature technology in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, but it’s going to be a rocky road getting there; 2021 has not made it easy to get the supplies needed for the upcoming MacBook update, with new suppliers and techniques still being worked on:

“While miniLED does offer the aforementioned benefits, when you step back and look at miniLED as part of the consumer electronics ecosystem, it’s not an easy technology to rely on. Apple’s yield on miniLED displays, both for the upcoming MacBook Pro and the current iPad Pro, has been lower than hoped for. Over the summer Apple’s suppliers have worked hard and changed the design t lift the yields up.”

(Forbes)…which may explain why LG is joining the ’supply OLED screens to Apple’ game:

“We recently learned that Samsung is gearing up to make OLED screens for the 2022 iPad Air using a new advanced manufacturing technique, and a fresh report says that LG is doing the same.” 

(9to5Mac).

NSFW Content And the App Store 

Apple’s approach to regulating sexual content in the App Store is damaging LGBTQ+ apps far more than the mainstream heterosexual apps. Kendra Albert and Afsaneh Rigot explain why it is time to stop automatically throwing NSFW content out of the App Store:

“Attempts to limit sexually explicit speech tend to (accidentally or on purpose) harm LGBTQ people more. Many of these rules are aimed in particular at sex workers, and LGBTQ people are disproportionately likely to use sex work as means of survival. A recent report from Fight for the Future, a digital rights group, argues that Apple often outright refuses to provide access to apps that primarily serve LGBTQ people.” 

 (Wired)

Where OneDrive Goes, iCloud Follows 

Following Microsoft’s updating of OneDrive for macOS, Apple has updated iCloud for Windows. Isn’t nice when everyone plays fair between the various ecosystems:

“Apple is today updating its iCloud app for Windows users, finally bringing a new password manager app. Learn everything new about version 12.5. This new password manager app is available with this update and allows users to access and manage their iCloud passwords on their Windows computers.” 

 (9to5Mac).

Goodbye Touch Bar, Hello Apple Pencil 

With Apple expected to retire the Touch Bar with the upcoming MacBook Pro laptops, many are rejoicing at the return of the physical function keys. But what if Apple took another route, and decided the top row would be a perfect place for an Apple Pencil? Against a background of ‘macOS does not need a touchscreen’, this curious Apple patent suggests just that:

“Potentially (at least according to the schematics in the patent), the Pencil or ‘Pencil-like device’ would sit right above the keyboard, replacing the area originally reserved for the largely ignored Touch Bar. At least for the concept, I’ve shrunk down the Touch Bar instead of removing it entirely. For now, it sits in the top right corner, between the Pencil’s docking area and the Touch ID button.”

 (Yankodesign).

MacBook Pro Release Dates Discussion

As for the release date on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops, more signs are pointing to an early November release, which would match up with the release schedule over the last two years:

“Apple likes its hardware to have a predictable release rhythm. The last two major MacBook Pro updates (the final intel line, and the first Apple Silicon line) have set the tempo. Now we have confirmation on top of the expectations of the third beat. How does the second Tuesday in the month, November 9, sound to you?”

 (Forbes).

Keyboard Removed From App Store 

Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer behind the FlickType iPhone keyboard developed for blind users will be discontinued. Citing numerous obstacles and objections made by Apple when rejecting the app and its updates from the App Store:

“t’s with a heavy heart today that we’re announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users. Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse.”

(@FlickType)

The Virtual iPhone Story Continues 

Last week it was reported that Apple had settled with Corellium over its ‘virtual iPhone’ service. Well, not so fast. Apple has filed a notice of appeal; albeit over a different issue with Corellium. This isn’t over yet:

“The appeal came as a surprise because Apple had just settled other claims with Corellium relating to the Digitial Milennium Copyright Act, avoiding a trial. Experts said they were also surprised that Apple revived a fight against a major research tool provider just after arguing that researchers would provide a check on its controversial plan to scan customer devices.”

(Reuters).

 Opposition To On-Device CSAM Scanning Grows

Opposition to Apple’s implementation of CSAM scanning on a user’s own device continues to rise, with the use of the technology as a wedge in Apple’s much-praised approach to the personal encryption of data. Over 90 groups and policy makers have published an open letter to Apple asking them to think again:

“More broadly, they said the change will break end-to-end encryption for iMessage, which Apple has staunchly defended in other contexts. Once this backdoor feature is built in, governments could compel Apple to extend notification to other accounts, and to detect images that are objectionable for reasons other than being sexually explicit,” the letter says. Other groups that signed include the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Privacy International, and the Tor Project.”

(Reuters).

And Finally….

Apple’s efforts to launch a podcast subscription service so podcast producers could easily monetise their audience continues to have issues since its launch in April; issues that are impacting smaller podcasts and listeners far more than the big production companies:

“Even now, after the subscriptions launch, when one would hope the worst of the platform’s issues had subsided, podcasters say they’re still experiencing other technical glitches, namely, major delays in new episodes publishing. One executive, who prefers to remain anonymous, says one popular show, which is time-sensitive, experienced 72-hour publishing delays on multiple occasions. Another executive, who also prefers to remain anonymous, tells me their show listeners emailed them asking where the new episodes were, all because of Apple’s delay. (In a couple of these cases, the episodes in question weren’t even behind a paywall and relied on the typical RSS system.)”

(The Verge).

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.

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Security researcher reveal Zoom flaws that could've allowed attackers to take over your Mac – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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Zoom’s automatic update option can help users ensure that they have the latest, safest version of the video conferencing software, which has had multiple privacy and security issues over the years. A Mac security researcher, however, has reported vulnerabilities he found in the tool that attackers could have exploited to gain full control of a victim’s computer at this year’s DefCon. According to Wired, Patrick Wardle presented two vulnerabilities during the conference. He found the first one in the app’s signature check, which certifies the integrity of the update being installed and examines it to make sure that it’s a new version of Zoom. In other words, it’s in charge of blocking attackers from tricking the automatic update installer into downloading an older and more vulnerable version of the app.

Wardle discovered that attackers could bypass the signature check by naming their malware file a certain way. And once they’re in, they could get root access and control the victim’s Mac. The Verge says Wardle disclosed the bug to Zoom back in December 2021, but the fix it rolled out contained another bug. This second vulnerability could have given attackers a way to circumvent the safeguard Zoom set in place to make sure an update delivers the latest version of the app. Wardle reportedly found that it’s possible to trick a tool that facilitates Zoom’s update distribution into accepting an older version of the video conferencing software.

Zoom already fixed that flaw, as well, but Wardle found yet another vulnerability, which he has also presented at the conference. He discovered that there’s a point in time between the auto-installer’s verification of a software package and the actual installation process that allows an attacker to inject malicious code into the update. A downloaded package meant for installation can apparently retain its original read-write permissions allowing any user to modify it. That means even users without root access could swap its contents with malicious code and gain control of the target computer.

The company told The Verge that it’s now working on a patch for the new vulnerability Wardle has disclosed. As Wired notes, though, attackers need to have existing access to a user’s device to be able to exploit these flaws. Even if there’s no immediate danger for most people, Zoom advises users to “keep up to date with the latest version” of the app whenever one comes out.

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Hands-free on Instagram, Facebook? Do it with Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4; know how – HT Tech

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The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 smartphone allows you to go hands-free on Instagram and Facebook. Here is all you need to know.

Samsung on Wednesday launched the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Along with the phone, the company also introduced a new feature to go hands-free on Instagram and Facebook. This means that if you have the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 or any other Galaxy Z Flip smartphone then you can go hands-free on Instagram and Facebook. Want to know how? You can do so with the help of FlexCam on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Informing about the same Meta said, “we’re introducing a new way to create hands-free on Instagram and Facebook with Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, as well as other Samsung Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. “

How to use FlexCam to go hands-free on Instagram and Facebook

Step 1:

With FlexCam on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, you can fold the phone and place it on a surface freestanding to record hand-free videos.

Step 2:

Now you can create Stories and Reels without a stand or tripod.

Step 3:

Using Instagram and Facebook with FlexCam makes it easier to record dances, how-to’s, and your favorite moments from afar, while on-the-go.

Meta further informed that FlexCam can also be used to make hands-free video calls with Messenger and WhatsApp.

About Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in a compact clamshell design. You will be able to shoot hands-free video or capture full group selfies at various angles by partially folding Z Flip 4 to activate FlexCam. You can do more with Z Flip 4 by taking high-quality selfies right from the Cover Screen by leveraging the main camera with the upgraded Quick Shot. Start high-quality video recording in Quick Shot mode and then switch to Flex mode to continue recording hands-free without stopping the video.

The phone gets power from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with the expanded 3,700mAh battery along with super fast charging. According to Samsung, the phone can charge up to 50 percent in around 30 minutes.

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‘Genshin Impact’ Sumeru Gift Codes For Free Primogems, 3.0 Character Banners, Release Date – Forbes

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At long, long last, Genshin Impact just wrapped up its new 3.0 special program, revealing a whole lot of new information about the new region, the new element, Dendro, new characters and of course, there are free goodies if you hung out and wached the stream. Or even if you didn’t, I have them right here.

We’ll just get these out of the way first, here are the three gift codes for free primogems and other materials that you can redeem here. These ones are only good for 24 hours, I believe, so you better hurry.

  • 8ANCKTWYVRD5 – 100 Primogems and 10 Mystic Ore
  • EA7VKTFHU9VR – 100 Primogems and 5 Hero’s Wit
  • KT7DKSFGCRWD – 100 Primogems and 50,000 Mora

Past that, the most pressing information is probably the release date for Genshin Impact’s Sumeru update, which is August 24, 2022.

We also were told about the first two character banners for 3.0, which will include three total Sumeru characters with only one five star. Those are:

  • Phase 1 – Tighnari (5 star), Zhongli (5 star), Collei (4 star)
  • Phase 2 – Ganyu (5 star), Kokomi (5 star), Dori (4 star)

While other Sumeru characters were shown or teased onscreen, it will be deeper into the 3.0 patch series before we get to those, which is not unexpected, given that’s how Inazuma worked, and we ended up getting new Inazuma characters for essentially an entire year. And we’re probably still not done.

Sumeru is probably going to end up being the most significant addition to the game to date, because unlike Inazuma, it’s not just a new region, it also has an entirely new element being added to the game for the first time, Dendro. While Dendro has cropped up here and there among a few enemy types, this is the first time we as players can wield it ourselves, and these new characters will be our first introduction to the concept. Like all the elements, you can probably have attack/defense/support focused teammates using the element, and we’ll have to spend some time digging deep into all the new characters to find out exactly how best to use them in their new roles with this new elemental type supporting your team.

Genshin Impact continues to generate massive amounts of revenue, and I have to imagine the Sumeru region is going to boost that even further, even in the face of new rivals like Tower of Fantasy that has just arrived this month. Genshin is the gold standard at the moment and it’s going to be hard to compete with it as it expands to seven massive regions over the next few years.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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