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Apple unveils the bezel-less iPhone X with Super Retina Display and Face ID

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iPhone X and Philip Schiller

After unveiling the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, and the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the wraps off iPhone X with a ’One more thing…’ note. Yes, a third iPhone during Apple Special Event at Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater.

Apple’s iPhone X is the long-rumored iPhone the internet has been talking (and leaking) about for sometime now.

iPhone X (pronounced as iPhone 10) has a gorgeous 5.8-inch Super Retina Display (2,436 x 1125 at 458ppi) that’s bezel-less and extends edge-to-edge, with neither a Home button or TouchID. But wait, there’s a notch at the top that accommodates the front camera and other necessary components such as speaker, microphone, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor. There’s even more…!

iPhone X and Tim Cook

The Super Retina Display that iPhone X accommodates is the first OLED panel in an iPhone, with stunning colors, true blacks, a million-to-one contrast ratio and wide color support. Apple says it is the best system-wide color management in a smartphone. In addition to HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, the iPhone X comes with True Tone that dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light.

While a highly polished, surgical-grade stainless steel band wraps around and strengthens the iPhone X, the glass-backed design at the back is same as that of iPhone 8. As elegant as durable, says Apple.

iPhoneX Splash

As mentioned earlier, there is no TouchID. So, how do you unlock the handset? Welcome, Face ID. Apple’s Face ID on iPhone X replaces Touch ID, as it uses a state-of-the-art TrueDepth camera system to make sure authentication on iPhone is more secure. The TrueDepth camera system is made up of a dot projector, infrared camera, and flood illuminator, and uses A11 Bionic to map and recognize a face for authentication. It can be used for unlocking the device, using Apple Pay, accessing secure apps, and many more. If you’re wondering about the position of TrueDepth camera, then it’s on the notch found above the screen.

iPhone X Notch

Face ID actually projects more than 30,000 invisible IR dots on your face to create a mathematical model of your face. The mathematical model is created when the IR image and dot pattern are processed through neural networks, and it’s sent to the secure enclave to confirm a match. All of the processing happen on-device and not in the cloud. Privacy concerns here! If you’re concerned about your ever-growing beard and/or mustache, then you’d be happy to know that Face ID adapts to physical changes in appearance, too. Apply says Face ID is designed to prevent spoofing by photos or masks, and only unlocks the device when one genuinely looks at it. One here means the individual who has registered with Face ID on iPhone X.

Camera. The 7-megapixel TrueDepth camera on the front brings Portrait Mode for stunning selfies, with auto image stabilization and precise exposure control. The rear facer has a vertical dual 12-megapixel camera system with dual optical image stabilization. The wide-angle camera lens has f/1.8 aperture, while the telephoto camera has an improved f/2.8 aperture. Not anything unlike iPhone 8 Plus here, the iPhone X shares the same Apple-designed image signal processor, video encoder, and Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting. Plus, the calibrations for Augmented Reality (AR) into the camera are same as well.

iPhone X Animoji Craig Federighi

Ever heard of Animoji? Probably not because it’s an Apple gig. As you might guess, Animoji is a fancy name for ‘animated emoji.’ The TrueDepth camera on iPhone X can analyze over 50 different facial muscle movements, and then animate those expressions in an Animoji, including panda, unicorn and robot. You can use these Animojis to express yourself in a real fun way, as these Animojis can actually add not just your facial expression but also your voice.

iPhone X Charging Dock Pods

As mentioned earlier, the A11 Bionic that powers the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is under-the-hood of the iPhone X as well. All specs for the chipset remains same. Apple’s iPhone X also supports Qi wireless charging, as it has a glass back design that helps enable a world-class wireless charging solution. AirPower, an Apple-designed wireless charging accessory that you can use to charge up to three Apple devices simultaneously, will be launching sometime next year. These three devices include iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X along with Apple Watch Series 3 and a new wireless charging case for AirPods.

Starting at $999, the iPhone X will be available in 64GB and 256GB configurations, with Silver and Space Gray color choices. Pre-orders begin October 27, and shipping starts November 3.

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Apple Pay Now Supports ANZ Eftpos Access Cards In Australia

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Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay has expanded to support Eftpos cards from ANZ Bank in Australia. Eftpos (Electronic fund transfer at point of sales) is a popular debit payments network in Australia. The partnership will bring in-store Apple Pay support to 1.6 million ANZ Access cardholders, according to Eftpos.

Apple’s partnership with Eftpos should get more people to use Apple Pay as Eftpos is the most used debit card network in Australia, and offers a much lower processing fee to retailers as well as customers.

High fees have been one of the biggest hindrances for Apple Pay in Australia, but with today’s move things are starting to get better. When a debit card is used via Apple Pay in Australia, there’s about 0.55 percent fee to the merchant; however, Eftpos drops it significantly to 0.15 percent. (Thanks, Business Insider!)

“About 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders now have the opportunity to make payments on an iPhone or Apple Watch, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to make in store mobile payments before,” said Eftpos acting CEO Paul Jennings.

“As Australia’s most used debit card network, we are thrilled to be providing ANZ eftpos Access customers with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and comfort.”

Eftpos ANZ users can switch between a Cheque and Savings account with ease. More details can be found on the Eftpos website. And yes, Apple has also updated its Australian version of Apple Pay website to reflect the Eftpos partnership.

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Google shares first unedited Pixel 2 photos and videos

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Google Pixel 2 Camera Sample

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which the company unveiled during its October event past week, have a highly rated camera. The cameras in both the Google phones have scored 98, the highest-ever on a smartphone camera in DxOMark’s rating.

Last year’s Pixel line-up scored 88X, which was the highest-ever on a smartphone camera back then, therefore it’s not surprising to see Google focusing more on camera lenses in Pixel phones. No matter how greater the rating figure is, it’s much more important to test the device in real world, and camera samples take a perfect stand to all the pixel-and-lens specs the company had touted during the product announcement.

Thanks to Google’s Isaac Reynold, who shared a bunch of unedited photos taken from the Pixel 2 camera, we now know (to some extent) how amazingly Google has improved Pixel’s camera. Reynold also posted two videos comparing the video stabilization that’s on offer with Pixel 2. Some of the sample photographs are attached in this post, while you can watch Reynold’s entire upload here.

For a quick recap, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both have a 12.2-megapixel camera with f/1.8, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), and laser and dual pixel phase detection autofocus.

/ Pixel User Community 

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Apple TV 4K, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X Support FLAC Audio Playback

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iPhone X and Tim Cook

Apple has quietly added support for FLAC audio playback to the recently-announced iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple TV 4K. Also included in the audio standard’s support list is the iPhone 7.

In case you’re wondering, FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It’s an audio format similar to MP3, but it’s lossless. What that means is the audio is compressed without any loss in quality, providing a lossless compression.

iPhone FLAC Audio

In order to listen to FLAC audio files on your iPhone, you’ll need to use the native Files app or a third-party app such as VLC, as Apple’s Music app doesn’t support the FLAC standard just yet. Plus, a Lightning-connected headphone is recommended to listen to FLAC audio files, as it offers more bandwidth than a connection over Bluetooth.

The new iPhones and Apple TV 4K ship with FLAC playback support, whereas the iPhone 7 gets it with the release of iOS 11 on September 19.

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