Griffin Launches New Survivor Cases for 10.5-Inch iPad Pro

Griffin today announced a new range of Survivor cases designed for Apple's new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, introducing the Survivor Rugged Folio, Survivor Journey Folio, and Survivor Journey.

The Survivor Rugged Folio is the most protective case of the bunch, protecting the new iPad Pro from drops, dings, and scratches. It keeps the iPad safe from drops up to four feet with a polycarbonate exterior and flexible TPU shell that has a stain-resistant Tactical Grip cover.

It includes Griffin's impact dispersion system for additional drop protection, and the frame includes built-in magnets that allows the iPad to be mounted on most magnetic surfaces.


Griffin's Journey Survivor Folio is a folio-style case with front and back protection for the iPad. It is also made from a durable polycarbonate material, with a magnetic cover that can fold into a stable stand with multiple viewing and typing angles. It also protects the iPad Pro from drops up to four feet and it can be mounted on magnetic surfaces.

The Survivor Journey is Griffin's simplest and lightest-weight case, offering protection for the rear of the iPad Pro. Like Griffin's other cases, it can survive drops up to four feet, and it also includes magnets at the back of the case so the iPad Pro can be mounted on magnetic surfaces like refrigerators.

All three cases are available today from the Griffin website. The Survivor Journey is priced at $29.99, the Survivor Journey Folio is priced at $59.99, and the Survivor Rugged Folio is priced at $59.99.
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Upcoming Apple Store in Chicago Features MacBook Roof Design

Apple is building a new flagship retail location in Chicago, which features glass walls and a thin, carbon fiber roof. Photos of the store's roof were shared today by Chicago news site DNAinfo, and as it turns out, Apple has added a white Apple logo that wasn't in the original plans, making the top of the structure look a lot like an Apple notebook.


The roof is made from a material that resembles the silver aluminum of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, with rounded edges and the same rectangular shape. When complete, it will sit atop all-glass walls, making for a unique floating MacBook-style design that's not quite like any other Apple Store.

The new store, which is located near the historic Michigan Avenue Bridge alongside the Chicago River, has been designed by longtime Apple partner Foster+Partners in homage of Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style homes.

Image via DNAinfo

Based on plans from 2015, the building spans 20,000 square feet and replaces a vacant food court. It features two floors, with a flight of stairs that go from street level to a walkway next to the north bank of the river.

There is no word yet on when the new store will be opening, but construction is nearing completion.
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‘The One Device’ Explores the Creation of the iPhone, the Technology That Went Into It, and More

As we noted last week, today marks the release of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, a new book from Motherboard editor Brian Merchant chronicling the development of the original iPhone. I've had a chance to read through the book before its launch, and overall it's an entertaining read, although it comes up a bit short in its promise to unveil the secret history of the landmark device.


The One Device is really a book in two parts, and the part directly covering the development of the original iPhone is actually only about 30 percent of the book, broken up into four chapters interspersed throughout. The remainder of the book covers topics that are related to the iPhone, but which are in most cases separate from the direct early iPhone history.

In the four chapters that cover the development of the iPhone, Merchant weaves together his own interviews with a number of engineers who worked on the original iPhone with tidbits and quotes pulled from other sources such as executives' testimony in the Samsung trial, Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, and Brett Schlender and Rick Tetzeli's Becoming Steve Jobs. Many of the members of the original iPhone team have left Apple over the past ten years, so some of those key former employees including Bas Ording, Richard Williamson, Imran Chaudhri, and the colorful Andy Grignon were willing to talk to Merchant about their time working on the project.

There are some interesting details about early work on multi-touch inspired by Wayne Westerman's FingerWorks technology that was eventually acquired by Apple, Steve Jobs' obsession with secrecy on the project that led to the team winning an internal "innovation award" at Apple's annual "Top 100" retreat even though the project they working on couldn't be revealed to the those in attendance, and the trials and tribulations faced by the small initial team working under signifiant pressure.
"That project broke all of the rules of product management," a member of the original iPhone group recalls. "It was the all-star team — it was clear they were picking the top people out of the org. We were just going full force. None of us had built a phone before; we were figuring it out as we went along. It was the one time it felt like design and engineering were working together to solve these problems. We'd sit together and figure it out. It's the most influence over a product I've ever had or ever will have."
The "secret history" outlined in these chapters feels a bit on the light side, and it left me wishing Merchant could have dug into more detail on it. That's understandably a difficult task given Apple's penchant for secrecy that keeps many of those with direct knowledge off limits and others who were able to talk still limited in what they felt comfortable disclosing, but I was still hoping for a bit more.

The bulk of the book covers topics that are more ancillary to the iPhone's development, areas such as raw material mining in Bolivia and Chile, working conditions in Foxconn's Chinese facilities, and some of the additional history on multi-touch. Background on ARM processors, lithium-ion battery technology, and Corning's Gorilla Glass help to fill things out, while a fairly extensive interview with Tom Gruber, one of the founders of Siri, helps the reader understand where Apple's personal assistant came from.

Merchant spices up these chapters with his own first-hand experiences gained by traveling to many of the locations, offering not only vivid descriptions of the locations themselves but also in-person interviews with some of the innovators responsible for the technological leaps that eventually enabled the development of the iPhone.

Overall, the book reveals only a few new tidbits and insights on the actual creation of the iPhone, but it's still interesting to hear some of these details shared directly by those who were there. Combine those stories with the background chapters on many of the components and technologies that have made their way into the iPhone, and for those reasons alone The One Device is a worthy read. It's a nice overview for those who may not be steeped in the history of Apple and its devices, but it left me wishing for more depth in the areas that mattered most.

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone launches today and is available from Amazon, the iBooks Store [Direct Link], and other retailers.
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Apple Hires Executives From Sony Pictures TV to Lead Push Into Original Programming

Apple today announced that television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg will be joining the company to help craft its new slate of original video programming. The two will lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale and report to senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue.

Image via Variety

Erlicht and Van Amburg are joining Apple from Sony Pictures Television, where they were presidents of the company since 2005 and helped produce shows like AMC's Breaking Bad
and Better Call Saul, Netflix's The Crown, Amazon's Sneaky Pete, and more.

Erlicht said that he and Van Amburg will attempt to create content of "unparalleled quality," matching Apple's success in its other product categories.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”

“It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team,” said Jamie Erlicht. “We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products — unparalleled quality.”

“Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products,” said Zack Van Amburg. “We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.”
The hiring announcement today represents Apple's latest move into establishing its presence in the original TV production space, and comes on the heels of the debut of the company's first show on Apple Music called Planet of the Apps. Later this summer, Apple Music will also debut Carpool Karaoke: The Series as its next streaming show.

In today's press release, Apple talked up the pair's history for creating diverse content -- from sitcom The Goldbergs to supernatural action comedy Preacher -- but no word was given on the specific kind of television that Erlicht and Van Amburg would be working on for Apple, or when any of the shows they produce might be coming out.
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Apple Supplier Foxconn Considering Wisconsin Plant

Apple supplier Foxconn has been considering opening a facility in the United States, and the company is investigating Wisconsin as one possible location, reports The Associated Press.

According to an unspecified person with "direct knowledge" of the negotiations, the state of Wisconsin is currently in talks with Foxconn. Michigan is also said to be pursuing the Foxconn plant.

President Donald Trump alluded to negotiations with an unspecified company during a visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday, saying [Wisconsin Governor] Walker might get "a very happy surprise very soon." Trump said "we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions."
Rumors suggesting Foxconn might open a United States factory first surfaced last November, after Apple reportedly asked suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into the feasibility of producing iPhones in the United States.

Foxconn in January confirmed that it was mulling $7 billion joint investment with Apple for a U.S. factory that would produce displays. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said that a U.S. display facility could make sense given the increase in demand for larger display panels, but he did express some concerns over the skill of the workforce in the U.S. and negotiating a deal with the government.

Foxconn has reportedly been in talks with both the U.S. federal government and individual state governments for several months over the facility, which, if established, could be used to manufacture displays for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Gou in January also said Foxconn is planning to establish a new molding facility in the United States, with Pennsylvania cited as a possible location. It is not clear if Wisconsin will be the home of the molding facility or the display facility built in partnership with Apple.
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Apple Offers Free Redeem Codes for AirPano’s Virtual City Book App

The official Apple Store app is currently offering free redeem codes for AirPano's City Book app, which lets iOS users explore bird's-eye view panoramas of 10 famous cities from around the world.

Each high-resolution cityscape consists of multiple connected spherical photo panoramas that users can rotate and zoom 360 degrees via touch or by physically moving their iPhone or iPad in the direction they want to look.


Tapping a circled dot on the skyline transports the user to another area of the city map, which can include views from the air, from the ground, and sometimes from inside famous landmarks, such as St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Alternatively, users can scroll horizontally through a panel of the various views at the bottom of the screen to skip between locales more quickly.

Cities contained in the book include New York, Paris, Barcelona, Dubai, Amsterdam, Singapore, Rome, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, and Moscow, with a short city guide accompanying each. The locations are best viewed on Retina iPads.


The AirPano team is a group of Russian enthusiasts, specializing in taking high-resolution aerial panoramas from helicopters, airplanes, blimps, hot-air balloons and drones. AirPano's panoramas are frequently published in leading journals and have earned multiple international photo awards. AirPano's Travel Book is available as an in-app purchase, with the Wonder Book listed as "coming soon".


To get the $2.99 app for free, download and open the Apple Store app, scroll down the Discover pane and then tap the Featured App "Exclusively for you". A link to the App Store should appear with the redeem code already filled in, allowing users to download AirPano City Book at no cost.
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2017 Apple Design Award Winners Announced: Severed, Things 3, Mushroom 11, Enlight and More

Each year, Apple chooses a selection of exceptional apps and games that are given the company's coveted Apple Design Award to honor design and innovation.

The 2017 design winners include popular titles like Severed, Enlight, Things 3, and Old Man's Journey.


Games:

- Mushroom 11 [Direct Link]
- Splitter Critters [Direct Link]
- Old Man's Journey [Direct Link]
- Severed [Direct Link]
- Blackbox [Direct Link]


Apps:

- Kitchen Stories [Direct Link]
- Airmail 3 [Direct Link]
- Lake [Direct Link]
- Things 3 [Direct Link]
- Elk Currency Converter [Direct Link]
- Enlight [Direct Link]
- Bear [Direct Link]

For more details on the games that were announced as Apple Design Award winners, including reviews, check out our sister site TouchArcade.

2016 Apple Design Award winners included Lara Croft Go, Frame.io, Chameleon Run, Auxy Music Creation, Streaks, Complete Anatomy, INKS, Zova, Ulysses Mobile, and djay Pro.
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iPhone’s Volume Slider No Longer Covers Videos in iOS 11

iPhone users can finally cross one item off their wishlists: the volume slider no longer covers videos in iOS 11.

iOS 11 volume HUD screenshot shared by Twitter user Devon T.

Now, when a user adjusts the volume while watching a video, a much smaller volume HUD appears in the top-right corner of the screen.

While the change is small, the user interface tweak was highly requested by many iPhone users for several years. On iOS 10 and earlier, the volume HUD intrusively pops up in the center of the screen for a few seconds after the volume is adjusted, unnecessarily covering the video content until it disappears.

iOS 10 volume HUD screenshot shared by Twitter user Justin L.

Some third-party apps such as YouTube already had their own smaller volume HUD, and now the look is universal across iOS 11, as part of Apple's broader improvements to the native video player on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Apple introduced iOS 11 at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. The first beta was seeded to registered developers later that day, to be followed by a public beta in late June. iOS 11 will be available as a free software update for all compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models around September.
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Apple Nixes Facebook and Twitter Integration in iOS 11

In iOS 11, Apple has eliminated built-in integration with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo, a feature that allowed users to store their account information and access it within third-party apps that needed to use those services.

The Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Vimeo options have been removed in the Settings app, and according to Axios, the four apps will now be treated like other apps, using the iOS sharing extensions that were introduced back in 2014 with iOS 8.

iOS 10 left, iOS 11 right
Rather than continue to add support for different social services, Apple went with a different approach, adding sharing extensions with iOS 8 in 2014. Until now, it has maintained the single sign-on for Twitter and Facebook in addition to supporting the sharing extensions for a wider range of apps.
Direct sign-in options were first introduced in iOS in 2011. Twitter integration was made available in 2011, while Facebook integration came in 2012. Support for Flickr and Vimeo was added in 2013 with iOS 7.
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Apple Updates Entire MacBook Line-Up With Kaby Lake CPUs, Faster SSDs, and Graphics

Apple announced internal updates to its entire range of MacBooks today at its WWDC keynote, with all models shipping today.


The main upgrade announcement is that seventh generation Intel Kaby Lake processors are now included in all upgraded 12-inch MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The 12-inch MacBook now supports up to 1.4 GHz Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz, and can be purchased with up to 16GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro features Kaby Lake processors up to 3.5 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.0 GHz, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro goes up to 3.1 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1 GHz.

Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 are included in the base configuration of 13-inch MacBook Pro, with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 included in the higher spec option. Elsewhere, the 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes standard with more powerful Radeon Pro 555 discrete graphics with 2GB video memory, while a Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory is also available as an option.

In addition, all updated notebooks feature new SSDs that are up to 50 percent faster than those found in the previous generation, according to Apple.

Finally, the MacBook Air, one of Apple's most popular notebooks, received a new 1.8GHz processor to bring it up to speed with equivalent ultra-slim laptops.


The 12-inch MacBook starts now starts at the lower price of $1,299. Meanwhile, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys starts at $1,299 or $1,799 with Touch Bar. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $2,399.

The updated iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are available to order today on apple.com, and available to buy in Apple Stores starting on Wednesday, June 7.
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