By: Michael Carey
Welcome to WHIP Radio’s newest addition to the News Department – Apple Apex. This weekly column will feature the biggest need-to-know stories for fans and users of all things Apple. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
13-inch ‘entry’ level MacBook rumored for
First reported by DigiTimes, Apple is allegedly preparing to show off a brand new 13-inch MacBook that features a Retina Display as an “entry level” laptop at WWDC 2018. The World Wide Developers Conference is held every June and showcases the latest update in software for Apple – typically revealing the newest version of MacOS and iOS. Hardware reveals are not consistent with WWDC – but Apple will occasionally reveal or tease a new product. At WWDC 2017, Apple previewed the iMac Pro, revealed the HomePod, and updates to the entire MacBook lineup.
The MacBook Air, the current “entry-level” laptop from Apple, does not feature a Retina Display, even after multiple updates since its inception in 2008. The new display, packing in a pixel density of 226 PPI, has a ratio of 2560×1600, matching the exact same display as the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. There are conflicting reports as to the future of the MacBook Air. Ming-Chi-Kuo, a reliable Apple insider from KGI Securities, reported that a more affordable MacBook Air, in a 13-inch configuration, is being revealed in the second quarter of 2018, which would match with WWDC. It could be possible that the DigiTimes and KGI report at the same, but nothing is being confirmed by Apple at this time.
According to 9to5Mac, the laptop will enter mass production at the end of May, which could signal Fall release date per particular Apple fashion. What helps to make this laptop a good sell, is the alleged price tag. The current MacBook (12-inch) is priced at $1299, but the DigiTimes article is reporting that the price tag could be ‘at the same level, or slightly higher’ than the current MacBook Air. The current MacBook has a smaller display at 12 inches and has a slightly smaller pixel ratio. Having a slightly bigger display, a faster processor, at a cheaper price could mean that this rumored notebook could become a hot seller with Apple.
Video depicts alleged iPhone SE successor
A video has surfaced online of the alleged successor to the iPhone SE – Apple’s 4-inch smartphone. Apple is rumored to launch a successor to the phone this year as early as the Fall. The phone bears a nearly identical design to the iPhone X – featuring the True Depth Camera System (housed in the controversial notch), no headphone jack, a protruding camera housing, and no home button. Apple is supposedly planning to bring FaceID (and remove the Home button altogether) to three new iPhones that will make their public debut in the Fall.
The leak comes from popular leak site Macotakara – who has a checkered past with leaks involving Apple products, specifically the iPhone. The website has been correct before – being the first to report that Apple’s iPhone 7 would drop the headphone jack. In other cases, Macotakara claimed that only the iPhone 8 and 8+ would feature 5-inch screens and be the only iPhones with wireless charging. Both iPhones featured 4.7-inch displays, and the iPhone X also featured wireless charging.
As far as if this is a legitimate model or just fabricated remains a mystery. 9to5Mac is calling the video “Unlikely”, claiming that this could be just an Android phone in a redesigned chassis.
The iPhone SE is a popular phone model among users. It keeps the much cherished iPhone 5 chassis while updating the internals to iPhone 6S speeds with the Apple-designed A9 chip. The iPhone SE also sits as the most affordable iPhone currently from Apple – priced at $349, making it a great device for someone just getting started into the Apple Ecosystem.
Check out the leaked video below.
GrayKey can unlock any iPhone, posing threat to public
When the San Bernadino shooting took place in 2015, the FBI ran into a severe problem. The shooter, Rizwan Farook had an iPhone which the FBI obtained during their investigation. During the investigation into possible motives, the FBI was unsuccessful in unlocking his iPhone 5C. Following this, the NSA tried but also failed at unlocking the phone. The FBI turned to Apple in February of 2016, asking CEO Tim Cook’s team to create a new version of iOS that has a “backdoor”, so investigators can get into phone’s in the event of an investigation where pivotal information may be at stake. Apple refused, to which the FBI requested that a judge issue a court order to implemented this feature. Apple fought back, fearing that the power would be used for the wrong reasons. A month later, the phone was unlocked thanks to the company Cellebrite and the court order was dismissed altogther.
Fast forward to 2017, and now your iPhone will not even need the backdoor for authorities to tap in. Introducing the GrayKey , a small box that has the power to bypass your numerical passcode on your iPhone and give whomever has the box, access to your device. The device comes from the company GrayShift, a small tech company with a staff of fewer than 50 employees. The device’s main audience is law enforcement, but if this box falls into the wrong hands, anyone with an iPhone is at risk of data breaching.
The box itself has two Lightning cables protruding out of it. You can plug two iPhones in at once, but only one will be “hacked”. After about two minutes being plugged in, the user removes the iPhone – at this point, the GrayKey is installed into the iPhone. It can take a couple hours, to a couple days for the device with the Key inside of it to be unlocked – the longer the passcode, the longer it will take. Even complelty disabled iPhones can be unlocked according to GrayShift.
The box itself comes with a price – even for law enforcement or any authoritative figures. A $15,000 license allows the owning party the ability to use the box for up to 600 times with a consistent internet connection required. Finally, a $30,000 license allows the owning party to use the box as many times as they wish, that can work offline.
In images posted on 9to5Mac, it shows that even an iPhone X, running the latest current available software (iOS 11.2.5), is able to be unlocked by this box – meaning that any iPhone below this running equal or older software, is vulnerable. A similar box the IP-Box, shared similar strengths a few years back, to which Apple patched this, making the box useless. Apple has yet to comment on the issue, and likely an iPhone patch will seal this deal to ensure that no iPhones can be breached without consent.
One More Thing… Replace Your iPhone Battery
If you own an iPhone SE/iPhone 6 or any iPhone newer and your warranty has expired, you are entitled to a discounted battery replacement by Apple. After Apple discussed how the company intentionally throttles older phone batteries to extend the longevity of them, the public did not swallow that pill well. In return, Apple announced that they will begin discounted battery replacements for any qualifying iPhone.
Typically a battery replacement out of warranty is $79 – but until December 31st, 2018, you can get a new iPhone battery for $29. iPhone batteries are typically healthy until you get around 300 – 500 charge cycles, roughly a year and a half of usage. Over time, your Lithium-Ion battery in your iPhone decreases in health. Your iPhone may say 100% charged, but in reality, your battery may only hold 80% of its original storage capacity – leading to your battery percentage tumbling down faster.
Apple is correcting its mistake. In the next software update, iOS 11.3, Apple will give users the option to either favor performance (which will decrease battery usage slightly faster) or favor battery longevity (performance make slip a bit) in the Battery section under Settings.
Be sure to make your appointment online using the Solutions page on Apple’s Website. Certain iPhone model’s specific battery are in higher demand, so be aware that it may take up to 3-4 weeks for your iPhone battery to come in the store, to which a technician can replace it in under an hour.
For more information – click here to visit Apple’s Official Battery and Power Page, and how you can set up your own appointment.
Thank you for checking out Apple Apex. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
Disclaimer – Michael Carey and WHIP Radio are in no way affiliated with Apple.
Michael is an award-winning radio host at WHIP Radio. He has been a staple host on WHIP’s Wake Up Call, and has recently occupied the role of Program Director for the station.