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DigiTimes: Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors'

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Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors:

Apple is expected to incorporate ambient light sensors (ALS) in next-generation ‌AirPods‌ devices in the coming 1-2 years, and Taiwan's ASE Technology may handle the backend process for the new component, as it has moved to purchase more packaging machines, according to industry sources.
The preview of the report doesn't specify what function the ambient light sensors would provide, but it's possible they would replace the optical sensors that ‌AirPods‌ currently use to detect when they're being worn.

However, it's unclear why Apple would want to use a more advanced type of sensor to replicate this existing functionality. DigiTimes' sources often provide reliable information, but the site has a mixed track record when it comes to interpreting that information and accurately deciphering Apple's plans. On that basis, it's conceivable that the sensors could be related to rumored health monitoring features like heart rate and/or blood oxygen saturation from the ear.

Clip-on finger pulse oximeters work by shining red and infrared light through the blood vessels and a light detector measures the volume of blood oxygen based on the amount of light that passes through the finger. These sensors can also be used to measure pulse rate.

In hospitals, ear-based clip-on pulse oximeters work on the same principle and shine light through the earlobe. Part of the light is absorbed by the skin and the part not absorbed reaches the light sensor on the other side.

It's unclear whether Apple could achieve a similar function without redesigning the way ‌AirPods‌ and AirPods Pro sit in the ear. As things stand, a more likely candidate for the technology would be Apple's fitness-oriented earphones: Powerbeats Pro sport an over ear design similar to Freewavz's true wireless earphones, which feature integrated pulse oximeters for measuring blood oxygen and heart rate.


Early last year, DigiTimes claimed that Apple would release next-generation ‌AirPods‌ with "health monitoring features" in the first half of 2019. While Apple launched second-generation ‌AirPods‌ in March 2019, health monitoring smarts were conspicuously absent.

DigiTimes receives a flood of data from the Asian supply chain, some of which it claims pertains to prototypes or test products that never make it to market or change significantly before launch, skewing its accuracy. Given that caveat, it's possible Apple held back the health monitoring features for a future ‌AirPods‌ model. We certainly know Apple has explored how it might incorporate health monitoring features into future ‌AirPods‌.

One Apple patent describes an earbud-based fitness monitoring system which integrates an advanced biometric sensor that can detect physiological metrics including temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels and more, through skin contact and via built-in motion sensors.

Blood oxygen monitoring is useful for measuring fitness and recovery, but it can also reveal health conditions like sleep apnea and other issues. Apple is expected to activate the feature in a future Apple Watch model, and CEO Tim Cook has highlighted Apple's interest in health as a major focus that may actually end up being "Apple's greatest contribution to mankind."
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

This article, "DigiTimes: Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors'" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple to Start Reopening Stores in Japan This Week

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Apple is set to start reopening its retail stores in Japan this week after having been closed for months because of the global health crisis.


Bloomberg's Mark Gurman notes that Apple's website says stores in Fukuoka and Nagoya Sakae will reopen on May 27. Reopening dates for the country's eight other Apple stores have not yet been posted.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lifted the country's nationwide state of emergency, ending restrictions in the remaining areas where the order was still in effect, one week ahead of schedule.

Apple has reopened stores in Australia, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Switzerland and some stores in Italy and the U.S.

The company is taking safety measures as it gradually re-opens stores across the globe. These include temperature checks conducted at the door, limited occupancy, and a renewed emphasis on one-to-one service. As an alternative to entering some physical stores, customers can also expect to see curb-side pickup and drop off options.
This article, "Apple to Start Reopening Stores in Japan This Week" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

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The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch.

The unc0ver website highlights how the tool has been tested extensively across a range of iOS devices on several different software versions. The site also mentions that the jailbreaking tool is compatible across all devices running between iOS 11.0 and iOS 13.5.

As for security, unc0ver's website says it utilizes "native system sandbox exceptions" so that "security remains intact while enabling access to jailbreak files."

#unc0ver v5.0.0 is NOW OUT.

— Pwn20wnd (@Pwn20wnd) May 23, 2020

Before the release of unc0ver's jailbreak tool, the only way to jailbreak devices up to the ‌iPhone‌ 8 and ‌iPhone‌ X was by using the "checkra1n" tool.

Unc0ver's latest jailbreaking tool can be downloaded now from its website.
This article, "Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

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Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days.


Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for these already up-to-date apps are being reissued, but some users suspect it may be related to the recent "This app is no longer shared with you" issue that was preventing some users from launching certain apps unless they are offloaded or deleted and then reinstalled.

It's possible there was an issue with an expired certificate or other credential related to app sharing, and Apple has had to reissue these updates to include a valid certificate on each of the affected apps in order to fix the issue.

So if you're seeing an unusual number of app updates available in the ‌App Store‌, you're not alone.
This article, "Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Promotes Apple TV+ for Kids in New Ad

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Apple today shared a new "The Next Generation" ad that showcases Apple TV+ content for kids.



"Original series and films to inspire the next generation of dreamers, explorers, and believers. All on ‌Apple TV‌+," the video description says.

The ad features the ‌Apple TV‌+ kids shows "Ghost Writer," "Helpsters," "Snoopy in Space," and the short-film "Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth."

The ad is part of Apple's drive to increase ‌Apple TV‌+ subscriptions amid heated competition from other rival streaming services, such as Disney+ and Netflix, which have a wealth of content aimed at children. Earlier this week, it rumors suggested Apple is considering buying some older shows, in addition to its original productions, to make the ‌Apple TV‌+ library more competitive.
This article, "Apple Promotes Apple TV+ for Kids in New Ad" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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