On Wednesday, Apple confirmed what many customers have long suspected: The company has been slowing the performance of older iPhones. Apple says it started the practice a year ago, to compensate for battery degradation, rather than push people to upgrade their smartphones faster. But even giving that benefit of the doubt, there are plenty of better ways Apple could have accomplished the same goal without betraying customer trust.
Apple has confirmed that it temporarily slows down processes on older iPhones with poorly functioning batteries, with the update able to "smooth out the instantaneous peaks" when needed to prevent device shutdown.
On Wednesday, Apple issued an official statement regarding claims that worn batteries slow iPhone performance, most often seen on older and/or heavily-used devices. In its statement, Apple declares that:
Based on anecdotal observation, many iPhone users have long believed that older iPhones get slower over time. Generally, people have assumed that this is because of new features and additions in new versions of iOS that are better optimized for the latest phones.
But Reddit users, and Geekbench developer John Poole, have a compelling new theory, backed up by benchmarks: the iPhone may throttle performance to preserve battery life or avoid unexpected shutdowns as the battery degrades.
Five years ago, Apple bought an obscure components company called AuthenTec for more than $350 million, one of the largest purchases in its history. The acquisition enabled the launch of Touch ID, a rapid fingerprint recognition technology that would become a hallmark of iPhones. Apple's current-generation iPhone 8 series uses Touch ID, but Apple has pointed to the iPhone X as its phone of the future, a future that would not include fingerprint recognition.
Apple’s goal with professional hardware has always been to inspire creatives and developers to produce new things. That’s not an altruistic objective; the more creative things get made on Macs, the more other creatives and developers are drawn to the platform, and the more Macs are sold. To that end, the iMac Pro is available to order today, so we spoke with Apple and several third-party developers who were introduced to us by Apple. We learned more about the iMac Pro and how people expect to use it to improve performance or add new features to their applications.
Apple today announced that the iMac Pro will be released this Thursday, December 14, but YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee says only 8-core and 10-core models will be available to order this week.
Brownlee in his hands-on video said the high-end 18-core iMac Pro will ship early next year, alongside an unannounced 14-core model that will apparently be added to the lineup for a total of four Intel Xeon processor configurations.
Apple's iMac Pro desktop will also sport an anew custom chip dubbed the T2, serving as a secure enclave for encrypted keys, giving users the ability to lock down their Mac's boot process and also handling system functions like the camera, audio control, and managing the solid-state hard drive.
Details on the T2 chip were revealed on Tuesday by Caleb Sasser, cofounder of developer Panic. According to him, the T2 chip combines previously discrete functions, including the system management controller, image signal processor for FaceTime camera, audio control, and SSD control.
This year’s launch of the iPhone X also included the introduction of Apple’s Face ID. Apple thinks that its facial recognition camera and hardware on the front of the iPhone X are among its biggest technological achievements. However, other Android phones have had facial and iris recognition hardware and software of their own. Samsung, as usual, is the leader in this effort, adding those kinds of features to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, along with the more recent Note 8 and the older, and explosion-prone, Note 7.
Apple confirmed today in statements to several media outlets that it will buy Shazam, pending approval. This news had previously been reported by TechCrunch, which had one source claiming the sale price was around $400 million—far less than Shazam's $1 billion valuation at its last round of funding.
After remaining tight-lipped for years, Apple is now more than eager to share how much progress it's making on self-driving car technology. AI research director Ruslan Salakhutdinov made a presentation this week that revealed more of what the company's autonomous driving team has been up to. Some of the talk was familiar, but there were a few new examples of how far the fledgling project had come.