8 Apple Rumors: From iPhone 7 Pro to an Amazon Echo Rival
An exciting assortment of Apple rumors surfaces each week and offers a glimpse into the current state of speculation about upcoming iPhones, new iPads, and the next updates for Apple’s operating systems. Last week, we learned plenty about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and the future of Siri at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
But both last week and this week there were also new rumors and reports about Apple’s plans for its next iPhones and other future products. Read on to catch up on the most recent, exciting Apple rumors.
1. iOS 10 will probably bring 72 new emoji
Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac that 72 new emoji are coming to the iPhone and iPad, probably with iOS 10. The Unicode standards body released the latest round of emoji characters, which includes a sneezing face, a drooling face, selfie, boxing glove, and face palm.
Sample images by Emojipedia visualize what the new emoji could look like in Apple’s illustration style. The new emojis include faces, gender pairs, gestures, animals, food, and sports-related emojis.
Mayo reports that Apple will likely add the new emoji some time in the iOS 10 cycle. If it misses the initial iOS 10.0 launch, then the new emoji will likely appear in an update like 10.1 or 10.2. Zac Hall reported for 9to5Mac that Apple was behind the decision to remove rifle and pistol-shooting emoji from the standard.
Apple, which has voting rights within Unicode, reportedly began the discussion to remove a proposed rifle emoji. Thanks to Apple’s influence, the organization also bumped an emoji depicting the Modern Pentathlon, an Olympic sport that includes pistol shooting.
It’s been noted that Apple’s position on the matter could be interpreted as a vote in the US gun rights debate, though the handgun emoji has long been available on Apple’s platforms, alongside emoji for knives, bombs, and cigarettes.
2. iOS 10 may bring a TextEdit app for iOS
Killian Bell reports for CultofMac that the TextEdit app that ships on all Macs may be coming to iOS 10, since the app was spotted on an iPad during the WWDC keynote. Apple hasn’t made any mention of the release, but it may make sense for the simple word processing software to make its way to iOS.
TextEdit isn’t currently available within the iOS 10 beta, and it wasn’t spotted in any of Apple’s iOS 10 demos, either. TextEdit has been spotted on iOS before, thanks to a prerelease screenshot from iOS 8, alongside a Preview app. It was thought at the time that both would make it into Apple’s final iOS 8 release, but neither did.
Bell notes that the current leak doesn’t confirm that TextEdit will come to iOS, and speculates that while the app is likely used for testing purposes inside Apple, the company may not think consumers need it, especially since Pages and other word processors are free to download.
3. The next Apple Pencil might be able to assess how your fingers are positioned, and your iPhone could determine whether you’re right- or left-handed
Mikey Campbell reports for Apple Insider that according to a pair of Apple patent applications, the company has invented a stylus that can determine the position of a user’s fingers, as well as a new version of the Reachability UI that could determine whether or not an iPhone is being used in the right or left hand.
The stylus would integrate an array of capacitive touch sensors to determine the position of the user’s fingers, and data gathered by those sensors would be interpreted as gestures. The system would process both single- and multi-touch gestures. The ability to determine finger location would enable advanced device interactions like rotating an onscreen object or selecting a brush size.
The data the stylus collects could also include motion gestures, like running a finger up or down the stylus to scroll. Force sensors could be used in concert with touch sensors to toggle virtual buttons or make adjustments to things like the drawing precision.
A second patent application describes the use of sensors to determine whether or not the user’s right or left hand is being used to operate an iPhone. Then it would customize the user interface accordingly. The invention would come in handy for many iPhone users who find it difficult to use the larger phones with one hand.
Of course, as with all of Apple’s patent filings, it’s unclear whether the company is planning to integrate the technology into a shipping product, like the Apple Pencil.
4. The iPhone 7 might ship with standard EarPods and a Lightning adapter
Apple Insider reports that according to a rumor circulating at Computex Taipei 2016, the iPhone 7 might ship with standard EarPods and a Lightning adapter. According to the Japanese website Mac Otakara, the rumor originated with Chinese accessory vendors marketing Lightning adapters at this year’s Computex expo.
The inclusion of the Lightning adapter would imply that the iPhone 7 will drop the traditional 3.5mm audio jack in favor of a Lightning or wireless solution. By including a pair of regular EarPods with an adapter, Apple would save the costs of developing or producing a new Lightning EarPods design.
It would also offer users the option of using the included headphones with the iPhone as well as with other audio sources. Juli Clover reports for MacRumors that Lightning adapters aren’t common. But she posits that there will be a greater number of adapters on the market following the launch of the iPhone 7, and Apple’s own adapter might retail for a price between $20 and $30.
Rumors are all over the place regarding the potential for an iPhone without a traditional headphone jack. Even this week, a (sketchy) rumor suggested that the iPhone 7 will retain the headphone jack and even integrate dual SIM trays. As Joe Rossignol points out at MacRumors, dual SIM support would differ slightly from the Apple SIM, which enables users to easily switch between short-term data plans from select carrier partners with one SIM card.
5. Apple may introduce an iPhone 7 Pro
Jordan Kahn reports for 9to5Mac that an unconfirmed leak of iPhone 7 pricing shows a 256GB model, a 32GB base model, and a pricier iPhone 7 Pro. A leak from Weibo, where information coming from the Chinese supply chain has surfaced in the past, shows iPhone 7 pricing that indicates a new 256GB model could closely mimic the pricing of the current 128GB model.
The new 256GB iPhone would replace the current top-of-the-line 128GB model, as it’s been rumored for a few months. Other rumors indicate that Apple will drop the 16GB base model and offer a 32GB entry-level model. The rumored pricing shows a lineup that includes 32GB, 64GB, and 256GB models for the iPhone 7, and 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models for the iPhone 7 Plus.
The leak also indicates that there could be a new iPhone Pro line, which may feature a dual-camera system and a Smart Connector. The Pro line is expected to cost about $150 more than the iPhone 7 Plus line.
Kahn reports that if Apple releases a Pro line at the same time that it updates the current iPhone lineup, it would make pricing and buying decisions more complicated. Such a move would result in nine new iPhone models and capacities, not counting color options.
6. You might not be able to use your iPhone 6 case on an iPhone 7
Apple Insider reports that while the upcoming iPhone 7 is expected to eschew a major design upgrade in favor of a design largely similar to that of the current iPhone 6 series, internal changes could make existing cases and protective films incompatible with the new phone.
The report claims that Apple will update the iPhone’s proximity sensor to a “dual specification” format that separates the emitter and receiver components into two distinct receptacles. Alternately, Apple might use two separate proximity sensor packages for faster and more accurate readings.
Other changes the report alleges include a repositioning of the ambient light sensor from the left side of the ear speaker to the right; added room in the chassis for iterative updates like a larger iSight camera lens; plus the ambiguous claim of a “slightly longer receiver,” which may refer to the ear speaker.
As Apple Insider’s Neil Hughes notes, a recent report from the Wall Street Journal largely echoes previous claims about the iPhone 7 foregoing any major design updates, but adds the new information that Apple has been held back by the limitations of the technology that’s currently available.
7. The Apple rumor mill can’t decide whether the iPhone 7 Plus will get a dual-camera system
Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac that in the same week, separate reports have suggested that the iPhone 7 Plus will and won’t get a dual-camera system. An alleged chassis that purports to indicate that the iPhone 7 Plus will feature a dual-camera system surfaced just days after another report claimed that technical difficulties had thwarted Apple’s plans to incorporate the feature into this year’s iPhone.
8. Apple may not introduce an Echo-like device
Carolina Milanesi reports for Re/Code that Apple may not deliver a dedicated device for Siri. Siri is soon coming to the Mac, and is already omnipresent on the Apple TV, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and the iPhone.
The promotional videos for Amazon Echo and Google Home highlight the fact that the personal assistants housed within the devices are meant to be accessed by all members of a family. But as Milanesi notes, “Sharing, specifically from a personal/consumer perspective, has never really been easy on Apple’s devices.”
Apple positions the iPhone, the iPad, and the Apple TV as devices that can control devices in your home securely, and it’s possible, plausible even, that Apple will continue its approach of many devices versus the one device championed by Amazon or Google. Milanesi writes, “Because of the intense focus Apple has on user experience, I tend to believe that the company will opt for a very personal ‘personal assistant’ versus a shared one.”