Apple’s iOS 9-era Source Code Confirmed Leaked

Apple's iOS 9-era Source Code Confirmed Leaked

Apple, creator of iPhone, Mac, and the iOS mobile operating system, has confirmed that their iOS 9-era source code for “iBoot” was leaked to code repository site Github. Apple has already contacted the site to request the code’s removal since previously iOS code has been a carefully guarded secret.

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WeMo Announce New Bridge with Apple Homekit Support

WeMo Announce New Bridge with Apple Homekit Support

Belkin announced at CES 2018 the availability of the new WeMo Bridge that beings Apple Homekit compatibility to the full range of WeMo devices.

The new version of the WeMo BridgeIoT hub will allow Apple users to control their smart home with their iOS-based devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

“We’ve had an overwhelming positive response by customers when we announced last spring that we would make the WeMo Bridge compatible with ,” said Kara Alexander, WeMo’s senior product manager, in a January 7th, 2018 media release. “We have made it a top priority working with Apple to ensure an incredible experience for both WeMo and HomeKit users.”

Users will also be able to issue voice commands using the Siri digital assistant in order to control WeMo dimmer switches, light switches, Insight, and motion sensors.

The WeMo bridge with Apple Homekit compatibility is slated for release at Apple stores, at Belkin.com, and select retail locations later this month at a price of $49.99 CAD.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Brendan Frye’s work such as his interview with EA Motive about Star Wars: Battlefront II, and his in-depth look at the Equifax Hack!

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iPhone X Review: A Precursor to Something Greater

iPhone X Review: A Precursor to Something Greater

It’s been ten years since Apple designed the original iPhone and redefined what a cellular phone was capable of. The device was an example of pure innovation. Not only did it shake up the market and set the new example for the competition to strive towards, it also changed the way users interacted with their phones. Ten years later and Apple aims to relive those glory days by accomplishing that same level of innovative success with the iPhone X. Starting at the always “affordable” price of $1319 CAD, you too can experience what Apple believes to be the next generational shift for smartphone technology.

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iPhone X (image credit: CGMagazine Staff)

Starting with design and aesthetics, the iPhone X looks stunning right out of the box. From the near bezel-less 5.8” screen to the polished stainless steel band, the phone feels and looks premium. The button layout remains the same as previous iPhone models, except for the recent loss of the signature home button. It may be a heartfelt loss for some, but this new retina screen and the gesture designed user interface are essential to execute Apple’s vision for the X. It will only be a matter of time before even the lightning port will be removed in exchange for only wireless charging and wireless peripherals.

The only questionable design choice I have with the iPhone X’s design is its glass back. Though Apple ensures that this full-glass design is made of the toughest material on the market, users still manage to drop their new devices and end up with cracked screens and fragile backplates. The professional look is also quickly ruined with fingerprint smudges after a couple days of use, which feels bothersome to maintain. I would have appreciated a matte material, akin to the Google Pixel 2 XL, that would have made the phone feel more sturdy and easy to grip. Instead, my suggestion is to purchase a quality protective case. It may break that sleek silhouette, but at least your heart won’t be pounding furiously when you see the phone hit the floor.

At the heart of the iPhone X is Apple’s A11 Bionic, the same six-core processor used in the recently release iPhone 8 and 8+, running on iOS 11. Comparable in performance to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the real strength of the A11 Bionic is its high efficiency and neural engine. The neural engine is pretty unique, being powered off two cores and capable of machine-learning. Because this enables the iPhone X to learn through observation, key features like Face ID, AR applications and Animoji are able to be more accurate and consistent than similar features offered on the market today by the competition. To finish off the specs, the iPhone X also manage to pack in their latest Metal 2 software and a 30 per cent faster GPU to assure users they are playing console-quality mobile games and AR experiences at their full potential.

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iPhone X (image credit: CGMagazine Staff)

To put it simply, the Super Retina HD display on the iPhone X is the best display currently on the market. Sporting a 2436×1125 resolution, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and 458ppi, this true HDR OLED panel delivers an unmatched viewing experience. Everything I watched looked sharp and crisp, but also vibrant and properly saturated due to the wide colour gamut. Compared to the controversial LG panel on the Google Pixel 2 XL, the iPhone X makes that phone look generations older in presentation quality. The implemented use of True Tone technology also takes advantage of one of the powerful light sensors located in the notch, which is capable of adjusting the white balance of the content to the colour temperature of the room so the user’s eyes won’t become strained. At the moment of writing this review Netflix and YouTube are the two primary video apps optimized for the X, with more optimized apps coming down the pipeline through future patches.

It’s time to address Face ID, the core feature of the iPhone X that can make or break the experience for users. Utilizing the True Depth camera, our faces now become our passwords to unlock our smartphones and buy products on the app store. I love the concept and the tech behind this feature, but sorely it did not meet my expectations. During my testing in various lighting situations and facial hair phases, Face ID worked properly about 80% of the time. While the number is still high, people paying top dollar for this device expect a frustration free experience. Similar to the introduction of fingerprint sensors, this is first generation Face ID and the kinks need to be worked out. Hopefully the feature can become more consistent through patches, but in most cases the problems of first generation products like this get worked out in new iterations of hardware.

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iPhone X (image credit: CGMagazine Staff)

Once the iPhone X is unlocked it’s time to learn how to properly navigate the device because it is completely different from any smartphone I’ve experienced. The new gesture design interface takes some time to get used to, but within an hour they felt intuitive to use. Swiping up to return home, swiping down on the right corner to bring up the control centre and double clicking the side button to pay for software are just a few examples of how Apple plans to design simplified ways for users to navigate their phones. I can’t say that these gesture were any faster than people using their home or back buttons to execute simple commands, but it was unique to experience and hard to break the habit of using the gestures once I switched back to my personal device.

Despite the iPhone X’s best efforts, the Google Pixel 2 remains the king for smartphone cameras in my eyes. The dual 12MP cameras on the iPhone X do have a couple more features and options to deliver a more diverse experience to users, but the image quality isn’t as detailed or vibrant. That doesn’t mean these cameras are a slouch though. Utilizing an all-new sensor and advanced ISP, courtesy of the A11 processor, the iPhone X still delivers a worthwhile experience to its users. Portrait mode is the perfect solution for people on the eternal quest to take the best selfie and the Apple-designed Video encoder enables videos to be recorded at 4K 60FPS for the smoothest possible footage.

Overall, I feel the iPhone X is the precursor to something greater. While the design and the ideas behind the phone feel like they should set the bar even higher, Apple’s execution on these innovative features leaves room for improvement. The infamous notch feels like it could easily be placed under the display within the next two generations of hardware and through the vast amount of user feedback, new gestures and other creative ways to interact with your phone look to be on the horizon. While it’s hard to justify the hefty price for first generation features, the iPhone X still manages to be one of the definitive smartphones of 2017 and is worth a recommendation for those that can afford it.

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iPhone X (image credit: CGMagazine Staff)

A retail version of this device reviewed was provided by the manufacturer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Cole Watson’s reviews of the Google Pixel 2 XL and Apple iMac 2017!

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Apple Buys Music Recognition App Shazam

Apple Buys Music Recognition App Shazam

Apple made a huge acquisition today. They purchased Shazam, the music recognition app.

Apple purchased Shazam at a reported $400 million. It isn’t the biggest acquisition that Apple has ever made (who can forget the $3 billion that they spent on Beats in 2014?), but it is still one of their largest to date.

Shazam is a music recognition app that allows users to find out the name of a song that they might not know. For example, if one were to hear a song by their favourite artist but they can’t remember the name of the song, or they hear a new artist that they like, all they would have to do is open the app, hold on to the Shazam button, and voila, the name of the song and the artist will appear.

The app also keeps a list of all the songs that the user has Shazamed so that they have the option to purchase them in the future.

Shazam has also frequently been one of the top sellers in the App Store, and has sold over 1 billion copies of the app to date.

A spokesperson for Apple and Shazam said, “We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit… We have exciting plans in store.”

Although there have been rumours that Shazam was going to go public for several years, it is now ready to work with Apple so that finding music is easier for years to come.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Brendan Frye’s Apple Watch Series 3 Review: The Best Got Better and Zubi Khan’s Apple Unveils Apple TV 4K With HDR Support and Native Siri Support!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

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Apple Watch Series 3 Review: The Best Got Better

Apple Watch Series 3 Review: The Best Got Better

I have always been a believer in Smartwatches, from the early Datalink watch from Microsoft and Timex to the more recent Android Wear. While they all offered things that made them useful devices, there were always compromises. Aspects that made them less than ideal for the tasks they were promoted for. I was worried this would be true for the Apple Watch also, but after I spent a few weeks with the Apple Watch Series 3 I can say this is without a doubt the best smartwatch you can buy this holiday season.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

The Apple Watch Series 3 is very similar to last year’s offering in the design department. The sleek square profile with its curved glass AMOLED screen is a joy to look at. The 1.65” screen—while not huge by any stretch of the imagination—is big enough to allow all aspects of the watch to work without a hitch. Now, you won’t be watching a movie or even YouTube on a screen this small, but you will be dealing with notifications, working with fitness apps, and using it as a link to your iPhone.

The internal 16 GB of storage and 768 MB RAM ensure you have enough power and space for most of the tasks you can throw at it, and the S3 dual-core processor makes using the watch a buttery smooth experience.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

Using the Apple Watch felt like a much more intuitive experience when compared to previous Smartwatches. I still love the look and feel of the Moto 360, yet Android Wear always felt like a skin. It worked, and for the most part, it did what was needed, but many aspects felt slow and overly cumbersome. While it did take a few hours to get used to the Apple Watch Series 3, once I had the hang of things, it was a complete joy to use. After using it for a few weeks, it is obvious Google as some work to do if they want Android Wear to compete on the same playing field.

Smartwatches have a series of tasks they are phenomenal at. First and foremost is being able to whittle down notifications so you only need to pull out your phone for important alerts. If you work in an industry that has you digging through a slew of emails daily, you know how much of a chore this can be. With so many things coming in, neglecting even a few can make reading them all by the end of the day a nearly insurmountable task. For myself, this is the most useful aspect of the Apple Watch—it gives me a simple yet powerful tool to dive through these notifications ensuring my inbox is always clean.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

Fitness is one area where the Apple Watch has a major leg up on the competition. Apple has clearly taken time and worked to ensure the watch is not only useful for people that enjoy working out, but pushing the Apple Watch to be an invaluable part of your workout routine. From the slew of fitness apps currently available for the Apple Watch to the built-in tools, Apple has made a device tailor-made for fitness.

Testing the watch for minor fitness activity with running, a basic workout, and some stair climbing, I was very happy with how everything functioned overall. Even when sweaty, the Apple Watch works as you would hope and constantly tracks your body activity. For people who love swimming or anything on the water, I could see the Apple Watch Series 3 is an even more useful tool. It gives the power you would hope, while still being water resistant in shallow depths.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

The big new addition for this year’s instalment of the Apple Watch is the addition of a cellular modem to fully utilize the watch as an independent device. Testing this on the Bell network in Canada, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. While it may be hard to use the watch without an iPhone at the ready, if you are out for a run, you can feel secure leaving your phone at home without the fear of being unable to utilize a cellular network.

Call quality on the Apple Watch Series 3 was impressive. While not as good as using an actual phone, in testing, the people on the other end did not know I was using a watch. Calls sounded loud and clear, and it managed to get the signal in most areas my phone did. I did experience some low signal in concrete buildings, but even the iPhone 7 Plus I was testing with only managed to achieve one bar, so I consider this a very good result considering the size of Apple Watch.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

If you don’t have an iPhone near, there are some limitations on what can be done with the Apple Watch cellular connection. With the iPhone off, only iMessage and calls seemed to work. Sadly I was unable to check email or do basic tasks without the Phone nearby. That being said, if you want that connection for emergency phone calls while running or camping, you should have no major problems.

You would imagine with a cellular connection the “All Day Battery Life” claim may be a little optimistic. Yet after a while of testing and putting the watch through its pacing, I have to say Apple is telling the truth with this boast. I never had the watch die before going to bed at night, and even when I used it excessively for various tasks, it managed to live well into the night. This is not something most Android Wear devices can attest too, and I commend Apple engineers being able to build a device as sleek as the Apple Watch while maintaining that level of battery longevity.

If there is one issue I have with the Apple Watch it’s that it requires you have an iPhone to get the most out of the device. Apple has built a watch that anyone would love to wear, be they on iOS or Android, and the need for an iPhone does limit the market. For people who are forced into another operating system, the Apple Watch remains out of reach. Despite the new LTE modem, the iPhone is still very much part of the equation if you want to get the most out of your watch.

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Apple Watch Series 3 – image credit: CGM Staff

When you boil it down, the Apple Watch Series 3 is one of the best smartwatches I have ever used. It managed to surpass my expectations and remains one of the best, most well-engineered wearables to date. It may be a bit out of some people’s price range, but should you want to dive in, and are already in the Apple ecosystem, you can’t go wrong with the Apple Watch Series 3.

A retail version of this device reviewed was provided by the manufacturer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Brendan Frye’s work such as his interview with EA Motive about Star Wars: Barttlefront II, and his in-depth look at the Equifax Hack!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!