Steve Jobs was legendary for knowing what he wanted and leaning on his designers until he got it. But according to a new book on the history of the iPhone, he insisted that it should have a back button. After one of his people presented a good argument for the distinctive single home button, he backed down.
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone
by Brian Merchant has been getting a lot of attention and it
a pretty decent attempt at covering the insider story at a company that’s notoriously difficult to get inside of. Among Merchant’s findings is this little gem:
The touch-based phone, which was originally supposed to be nothing but screen, was going to need at least one button. We all know it well today – the Home button. But Steve Jobs wanted it to have two; he felt they’d need a back button for navigation. Chaudhri argued that it was all about generating trust and predictability. One button that does the same thing every time you press it: it shows you your stuff.
“Again, that came down to a trust issue,” Chaudhri says, “that people could trust the device to do what they wanted it to do. Part of the problem with other phones was the features were buried in menus, they were too complex.” A back button could complicate matters too, he told Jobs.
“I won that argument,” Chaudhri says.”
And thus, history was made. The single home button was decided, plus Steve Jobs doubted his own instincts and listened to someone else.
What’s interesting is that the iPhone sort of set the template for all the subsequent smartphones to come. But Android competitors did throw on a back button. Adding extra stuff is basically the Android way. The simplicity of the iPhone kept it distinctive. At least in that one moment, Chaudhri understood the Apple way better than Steve.
It’s a perfect time for that little story to come to light because it looks like we’re about to see the home button’s demise. Smartphone accessory maker MobileFun has a reputation for
leaking iPhone details months in advance. This weekend, the company
posted a listing
for an iPhone 8 tempered glass screen protector:
It certainly looks like this is the best evidence yet that the home button is officially dead.
The fact that we all walk around with our heads down compulsively tapping on our phones is no longer even worthy of satire, it’s just a fact of life.
is an app that’s kind of like a social network that doesn’t connect you to anyone. It understands the banality of our mobile screen time and gives you something to do that accomplishes nothing… just like a real social network!
did a long profile of Apple designer Jony Ive back in 2015, the author observed that “[Steve] Jobs and Ive had different dispositions, but perhaps shared a lack of social smoothness, and it seems fitting that one of their great joint achievements was to give digital distractions to people forced to ride in elevators with nodding acquaintances.” It’s a comment that might sound like a criticism of our avoidance of interaction in the real world, but it’s true that smartphones really have been a gift to those of us who’d rather just avoid eye contact with strangers. Sure, you can keep up with the news and your friend’s lives; you can check the weather and get directions; you can play some Candy Crush
and find a date, but above all, the smartphone gives you something to occupy your attention in the idle moments of life. Binky understands this and it delivers just what you’re looking for.
The app consists of a basic Instagram-ish newsfeed. Images of banal subjects like “Camel” and “Lithium-Ion Battery” float past as you scroll and they’re captioned simply as “Camel” and “Lithium-Ion Battery.” You can hit a star to “like” the “bink” and a satisfying star explosion occurs. You can leave a comment and each letter you type will produce a word in a prewritten post that comes out like, “I just want to say that you are the best,” followed by endless random emoji. You can re-bink the binks but no one will ever know, aside from the developers of the app, maybe, but why would they collect this meaningless data? If you swipe left on a bink, an image like a skull or a bomb will appear. If you swipe right, an image like a trophy or a diamond ring will appear. The whole interface is quite satisfying and if you just let go, you get that little endorphin rush that comes with interacting with tweets.
, a game developer, improv actor, and the creator of Binky, tells
that he had the idea while mindlessly scrolling through social media updates and thinking, “I don’t even want that level of cognitive engagement with anything, but I feel like I ought
to be looking at my phone, like it’s my default state of being.” He decided to make an app that drains whatever semblance of meaningful content exists out of the network and leaves you with a simple content/interaction machine. So yeah, it’s supposed to be a bit satirical, but I prefer to think of it as practical.
of the app will satisfy all your desires to contemplate what this thing means and how it fits into the history of media theory. But I’m here to tell you what this thing does and simply suggest that you use it. There’s something kind of soothing about its completely innocuous series of images. The selections are like looking at the most boring Pinterest ever or the image folder of a rudimentary encyclopedia. They won’t make you scream “yasss queen” and they won’t make you feel bad about the state of politics. They’ll never give you FOMO and you’ll never make a drunk comment that you regret.
It’s a lot like a fidget spinner-just something to do. But in the same way that a fidget spinner might give you a way to stop biting your nails, Binky could help you break the phone addiction, if you want it. Concerted effort to use the app instead of scrolling through your Facebook timeline could easily act as a mindfulness exercise, and at it’ll at least make you aware of what you’re doing. But just give into it and you might feel like it’s just as good as the real thing. Try it out next time you’re in line for five minutes or taking that awkward elevator ride. It does the trick. And rather than getting mad about the latest thing Ted Cruz did, you’ll just think “Camel,” you’ll look at a camel, and the ride will be over.
Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc will ask the U.S. International Trade Commission to bar Apple Inc from selling some iPhones and iPads in the United States that use chips made by competitor Intel Corp on the grounds that the devices infringe on six Qualcomm patents.
In a request that would broaden its legal battle with Apple, San Diego-based Qualcomm said it will ask the U.S. ITC to ban imports of the infringing Apple devices. A related lawsuit was filed in federal court in California on Thursday to request monetary damages.
Qualcomm, which also supplies chips to Apple, said the six patents help devices perform well without draining the battery.
Apple referred reporters to its earlier comments on the dispute with Qualcomm, which accuse Qualcomm of unfairly imposing what Apple calls a “tax” on Apple devices using Qualcomm chips.
In its complaint to the ITC, Qualcomm asked the body to ban “iPhones that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates.” Qualcomm did not name Intel, but Intel began supplying chips for some iPhones starting with the iPhone 7.
Qualcomm has not alleged that Intel chips violate its patents but claims that the way Apple implements them in the iPhone does. Intel declined comment.
Stacy Rasgon, an analyst with Bernstein, said ITC cases typically take 16 months to conclude and the case was unlikely to affect Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone launch expected this fall. “I doubt this puts a lot of immediate pressure on Apple,” Rasgon said.
There has been long-running tension between Qualcomm and Apple over Qualcomm’s practice of taking a cut of the total price of the phone in exchange for “modem” chips that help phones use wireless networks data plans.
The ITC is a popular venue for patent disputes because it handles cases relatively quickly and can more easily bar an infringing product from the U.S. market than federal courts.
Animosity between the two companies burst into the open in January, when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm and accused it of using “anticompetitive” tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones.
The FTC, which enforces antitrust law along with the Justice Department, said that Qualcomm used its dominant position as a supplier of certain chips to impose “onerous” supply and licensing terms on cellphone manufacturers and to weaken competitors.
Days later, Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion, accusing it of overcharging for chips and withholding promised rebates because of Apple’s discussions with South Korea’s antitrust regulators in their probe of Qualcomm.
Separately from this dispute, Qualcomm is a major supplier to both Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for modem chips that connect phones to wireless networks.
A long rumoured iPhone 8 feature might just have been confirmed thanks to the firmware of Apple’s HomePod. The company released the first build of the firmware of the smart speaker to let developers tinker around and learn more about it. A developer by the name Steve Troughton-Smith has delved deep and has confirmed that the iPhone 8 will have support for face unlock.
The face detection feature has been tipped for long. Smith indicated that the code has support for infrared face unlock inside BiometricKit, which is responsible for TouchID. This suggests that users will be able to unlock the devices by simply looking into it. Infrared unlocking means that even partially hidden faces and faces from various angles will be recognised. And if Apple is using infrared to map faces, it might work under poor lighting as well.
Named Project Pearl ID,
the face unlock feature could potentially replace TouchID
. It is of course expected that the level of security will be high and it will be able to understand the difference between an image of face and a 3D model of it.
Steve also found some details about the iPhone 8 design in the firmware. Apparently, a render was hidden inside the code which handles Apple Pay authentication.
The code alleged contains a form of a core animation archive file. Smith also said the code shows the iPhone 8 is codenamed “ D22″.
The design shows the iPhone 8 will have space for the front facing cameras and other sensors on the top notch, the tiny bezel on top of the screen.
Previous renders have tipped that the iPhone 8 will has a bezel-less front
and come with
. However, there is still time between now and the eventual launch of the phone and Apple could play around with the design some more before finalising.
MixBin Electronics just recalled thousands of iPhone cases that contained liquid and glitter because they were burning users. A US Consumer Product Safety Commission report noted that there have been 24 reports around the world, including 19 in the U.S., of skin irritation or chemical burns.
“One consumer reported permanent scarring from a chemical burn and another consumer reported chemical burns and swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands,” the report states.
There have been about 263,000 of these cases sold in the US as well as 11,400 in Canada and 400 in Mexico. They were sold by major retailers including Amazon, Henri Bendel, MixBin, Nordstrom Rack, Tory Burch and Victoria’s Secret.
“In the United Kingdom, the distributor has received four reports of chemical burns, itching, redness, and blisters due to the leakage of the liquid material contained in the liquid glitter phone case,” according to a recall page on the Government of Canada website.
As for what in the hell this “liquid material” is made of, we have reached out to MixBin for comment. According to the Amazon page of one MixBin glitter iPhone case (which is no longer for sale), the fluid is “safe food grade snow globe liquid.”
So if you caught yourself daydreaming over a shimmering iPhone case with the Victoria’s Secret logo emblazoned on it, think again. It may ooze out and burn your beautiful face. Also, come on. These cases are so fugly.
Have you ever been to the back room of an Apple Store? That’s a trick question, because the back room at
the Apple Store is a mythical place
, filled with elves, warlocks, and a magical machine that fixes iPhone screens. At least, it was until this week.
Apple just revealed that it’s going to start shipping its magical iPhone-repair device-it’s called a “Horizon Machine”-to other Earthly places, like Best Buy. A company executive
that it would install about 400 of these microwave-sized gadgets at third party retailers’ repair shops in 25 countries by the end of the year. It should be highlighted that this news represents the first time Apple has ever confirmed the existence of the mysterious device. The famously secretive company even let Reuters snap a few photos of the thing. (
You see the photos here
At this point you’re probably wondering what the enchanted Horizon Machine actually does. You might assume that you slide a broken phone into a slot, press a button, hear a ding, and a good-as-new phone pops back out the slot, the kind of process we were promised in endless episodes of The Jetsons.
You may think that we finally deserve such a marvel and that, if anybody were to build something so miraculous, it would be Apple. You could believe this. But you’d be wrong.
In fact, all the Horizon Machine does is calibrate the new screen after a human being does the actual replacement. Here’s Reuters’ description of the disappointingly mortal play-by-play:
Once the new screen is mounted, the iPhone goes into the Horizon Machine, which allows Apple’s software to communicate with the fresh hardware. Over the course of 10 to 12 minutes, the machine talks to the phone’s operating system to pair the fingerprint sensor to the phone’s brain.
While that unfolds, a mechanical finger jabs the screen in multiple places to test the touch-sensitive surface. The machine also fine tunes the display and software to match the precise colors and calibration of the original.
Kind of lame, right? Well, the real bright side is that Apple’s getting more comfortable with letting third parties repair its precious devices. The Cupertino company now says that it won’t even void your warranty when you get your phone fixed at an unauthorized repair shop “as long as the technician caused no damage.” Good luck with that.
The move comes on the heels of increasingly long wait times for repairs at Apple Stores, as well as the
national movement for the right to repair
. Reuters’ report also landed just two days after news emerged that an Australian consumer rights group
was suing Apple
over misleading customers about their rights. Obviously, pulling back the curtain on its once ultra-top secret (and ultimately disappointing!) Horizon Machine doesn’t undo years of Apple punishing customers for repairing their own gadgets by voiding warranties and causing headaches. It’s kind of cool to see at least of the machines Apple keeps in its chimerical workshop of miracles, though.
Makes you wonder what else is in the back room. Is it goblins? It’s definitely goblins.
Can you believe Apple’s iOS is 11 iterations old already? It seems like just yesterday we were excited about the prospect of an app store, or the ability to select and copy text. At today’s WWDC keynote, Apple revealed a host of updates and upgrades to iOS, including many longtime requested features.
You’ll have to wait until the Fall to upgrade your iPhone or iPad with the official final version of iOS 11, or in the coming weeks you can weasle your way into an early developer version of the new OS, if you’re brave enough.
Do you mostly use Apple Maps to get to the mall? In iOS 11 you’ll be able to keep using that app to find J. Crew, or The Gap, now that Maps is introducing 3D maps to help you navigate your local shopping centers, starting in major cities first, with others to follow, similar to the subway info rollout. The same goes for airports, with indoor maps now available in iOS 11 for major hubs around the world, and more to follow later on.
If you’re one of the few who actually uses Apple Maps while driving, iOS 11 will finally introduce speed limits and lane guidance warnings for easier navigation while on the road. And like with Google Maps, Apple will finally be introducing a one-handed zoom option, although there are no details yet on how it will work.
Redesigned Control Center and Notification Center
iOS 11 will streamline Control Center, putting all of the options in a single screen including playback and Airpley controls. It will also include an improved vertical slider design for the brightness and volume controls. The Notification Center and lock screen will also be merged into a single screen under iOS 11, basically requiring users to scroll up or down to jump to notifications, instead of sideways.
In addition to visual improvements and more expressive male and female voice options, in iOS 11 Siri is getting improved translation skills, including English to Chinese, Italian, German, French, and Spanish, with more languages enroute. Siri will also attempt to learn, on a per device basis, what a user is interested in, or needs, based on their location, or information they’ve already asked for.
Messages and Peer-to-Peer Apple Pay Payments
iMessage remains one of the best mobile messaging platforms out there (assuming your friends and family all have iPhones) and while a dedicated app store and stickers didn’t quite revolutionize that app, you can now use Apple Pay via a new iMessage app, with TouchID fingerprint authentication, to quickly send payments (encrypted end-to-end) to someone you’re chatting with.
Using iCloud, iOS will now ensure your iMessages remain perfectly synced across all of your devices, and Apple continues to push its stickers feature with a redesigned app drawer that makes them easier to access. But does anyone even still use those?
Apple set its sights on Spotify with Apple Music, and while it hasn’t toppled the popular streaming service just yet, under iOS 11 Apple Music will finally let you creep on what your friends are listening to, or you can set all that to private if you’re ashamed of your Hanson obsession. (You shouldn’t be.) Apple Music will also have a Shared ‘Up Next’ playlist so your friends can see what’s queued up at a party and make their own contributions to the mix.
While not immediately available to users when they upgrade to iOS 11, Apple is introducing a new backend tool for developers called ARKit allowing them to take advantage of an iPhone or iPad’s camera, sensors, gyroscopes, and other hardware to create and improve augmented reality experiences made popular by Pokemon Go
, before we all stopped playing it.
Camera and Photos
Borrowing a card from Instagram, the iPhone and iPad’s camera apps will be getting new photography filters under iOS 11, including a long-exposure effect for Live Photos for capturing dreamy, smeary images of things in motion, which should be perfect for waterfall photography enthusiasts. Live Photos can also be trimmed, and users can specify which frame of the short video can be used as for the still image.
To help maximize the storage space on your iPhone or iPad which can’t be expanded, in iOS 11 is also introducing a new HEIF compression scheme, shrinking images better than JPEG can, with less compression. The same goes for video, with a new HEVC video codec.
Home Kit and Airplay 2
In addition to adding wireless speaker support to Apple’s Home app, HomeKit will introduce AirPlay 2 to control your audio hardware that supports multi-room playback, including the Apple TV, but not Sonos-at least for the time being.
Apple CarPlay Do Not Disturb
It’s hard to make Apple CarPlay exciting, but under iOS 11 using your mobile devices in the car will get a little safer-by not letting you use them. Taking advantage of clever Bluetooth and Wi-Fi doppler effects to detect when you’re in a moving vehicle, CarPlay will automatically lock down your phone, giving you nothing but a blank screen to stare at. An auto-reply option for Messages will also be available under iOS 11, letting others know you’re not ignoring them, but are busy driving.
iPad Dock, App Switcher, and Keyboard Improvements
iOS on the iPad brings some additional improvements that won’t make their way to the iPhone, sadly. This includes the ability to cram even more app icons to the iPad’s dock, which can be accessed at any time, while any other app is open. The new iOS 11 iPad dock will also attempt to guess what apps you might need next, providing a suggestion at the end of the bar.
The iPad’s new App Switcher now looks a lot like the one found on OS X, allowing users to drag and drop clipboard contents, images, or other files between open applications in split-view. It would be nice to have on the iPhone, but the limited screen real estate would make things simply too tiny to see when all your apps were tiled across the display.
What could be the best improvement made to the iPad’s UI under iOS 11 is the new QuickType functionality that allows punctuation, alternate characters, and even numbers to be accessed from one keyboard by simply using small gestures atop each key. It seems extremely useful, and hopefully Apple will eventually include it on the iPhone’s keyboard, even if just the horizontal one, eventually.
Improved iPad Apple Pencil Support
The Apple Pencil was designed to go hand-in-hand with the monstrous iPad Pro, giving artists, designers, and engineers a more authentic feeling of sketching on paper. But Apple is now expanding what the Pencil can be used for on the iPad, in standard apps like Mail, Safari, screenshots, and Notes with markup that allows users to easily make hand-drawn annotations
In Notes, iOS 11 will now even use machine learning to translate and index hand-written notes so they can be searched, or copied and pasted as editable text. And it will serve as a rudimentary scanner, automatically straightening and converting documents captured using the iPad’s camera.
After a decade of updates, Apple is finally giving iOS a dedicated File Manager app called Files-at least on the iPad. But it won’t be as robust as Finder is on OS X, as the iPad’s core file structure will still remain hidden to users. Files seem more useful as a central place to find or delete files for when your device runs out of storage space.
But Files also has access to stuff you’ve stored on iCloud, and other online storage options including Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive, so you don’t need to hop from app to app to find a document you need, which is potentially the most useful feature of the new Files app.
In what’s either the best art project, the best business move, or both, someone has made what I presume is a bot that’s churning out thousands of unique iPhone cases for sale on Amazon. Pretty much all of them are masterpieces.
Bots mocking up one-off products in the hope that just the right person comes along to buy it are nothing new. The bot behind ”
” is really, really, exceptionally terrible. And in its quest to slap stock photos onto cheap cases, it has succeeded in being the best smartphone case maker around.
Plenty of the image choices are banal, like ”
fishing on a lake before sunset cell phone cover case Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime G5306
” or ”
Woman using a washer dryer macine cell phone cover case Samsung S5.
” Sometimes the banal ones acheive a sort of aesthetic beauty that could pass for found art. I’m a fan of the colors and composition on ”
mini fridge full of bottles of juice, soda and fruit isolated cell phone cover case iPhone5.
” User ratings on that particular model are split. One user says “very pixelated, bad quailty it broke :(,” while another says “I like I like a lot ;).” I have to lean towards the user who used the winky face, they seem more trustworthy.
My-handy-design gets more disturbing when you get into all the medical stock photos. These are the cases for a special sort of person who doesn’t care what people think of them, or enjoys making people uncomfortable. This is where my-handy-design really shines.
Also, there are a lot pictures of gutters.
I’ve combed through the catalog and pulled some of my favorites below. You can browse for yourself
. And for the sake of clarity, this is not a sponsored post. The owners of this operation are definitely not investing in sponsored posts.
Some images might not be safe for work. You’ve been warned. NSFW.
Styrofoam, polystyrene thermal insulation of house wall install cell phone cover case iPhone5
adult diaper worn by an old man with a crutch cell phone cover case iPhone6
Beautician hands doing depilation in woman armpit with wax strip cell phone cover case iPhone6
International Certificate of Vaccination cell phone cover case Samsung S5
Cheese wheel on bady instead of table cell phone cover case iPhone6
Varicose veins treatment cell phone cover case Samsung S5
Purple strapon with thongs for role play games cell phone cover case Samsung S5
New rain gutter on a white home against blue sky cell phone cover case Samsung S5
pager in hand cell phone cover case Samsung S5
sick old man suffering from diarrhea, indigestive problem cell phone cover case Samsung S5
Behold: the Jindallae 3. Designed and manufactured locally by North Korea’s Mangyongdae Information Technology Corporation, the new smartphone is “versatile and multifunctional” and comes in white or black, according to state-sponsored news agency DPRK Today. It also looks just like an iPhone.
With a name that roughly translates to “azalea,” the Jindallae 3 does indeed bear some serious similarities to more familiar devices designed in California. Aside from the slim shape and minimalist hardware design, the phone’s software looks like a bastardized version of iOS. Some of the app icons, for instance, are practically identical to those used on Apple’s mobile devices. (The icons for the phone, music, and photos apps are dead giveaways.)
Then again, the resemblance has its limits. The upper half of the Jindallae’s home screen is very Android-like, and that oval home button looks suspiciously like the fingerprint reader on a Samsung Galaxy. It’s almost as if North Korea’s designers stole the best ideas from Apple and Samsung’s flagship phones and presented it as a whole new thing.
None of this, of course, is especially surprising. North Korean technology manufacturers have been copying Apple’s designs and ideas for years. Most recently, North Korea announced a new tablet computer called-wait for it-
. We’ve also seen glimpses of desktop computers that look practically identical to the latest version of the iMac. Those machines undoubtedly run North Korea’s very own operating system, Red Star 3.0, which looks pretty much
exactly like Apple’s OS X
. It’s hard to tell, though, since photos the iMac clones are pretty rare. Below is a photo of one recently uploaded by DPRK Today.
It’s unlikely that anyone outside of North Korea will get the privilege to try out this tech. (You can download the OS X knockoff,
although you probably shouldn’t
.) It’s also unclear how well the new Jandallae 3 works, since DPRK Today didn’t publish the specs in its fawning coverage of the supposedly original design. The news agency did say that the phone sports “a higher level of convenience and safety compared to various kinds of smartphones which were developed in the past.” One has to wonder how high that bar is in a country
that struggles to feed its own people