From Cult of Mac: Apple breaks down just what makes Portrait Lighting special on iPhone X

Apple is very proud of its Portrait Lighting feature for the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, and it’s willing to let users take a peek behind the Cupertino curtain to show exactly why. In a new video shared Wednesday evening, Apple gives an overview …

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From Digital Trends: Check out our list of the best iPhone deals for February 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can’t live without iOS, don’t despair: We’ve curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPhone deals available for January 2018.
The post Check out our list of the best iPhone deals for February 2018 …

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From BGR: T-Mobile will give you $200 off a new iPhone, but there’s a catch

T-Mobile is rolling out a limited-time offer on the most expensive iPhone models, and this one doesn’t even require you to buy-one-get-one-free. Starting February 23rd, you’ll get $200 off the purchase of an iPhone X, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, 7 or 7 Plus via a prepaid Mastercard, which is nothing to turn your nose up at.

However, you’ll need to read the fine print quite carefully, because this offer requires a trade-in of a relatively recent flagship iPhone or Android device to qualify.

In order to get the $200 Mastercard, you have to trade in one of the following:

  • Samsung GS8 / Samsung GS8+ / Samsung GS8 Active / Samsung GS7 / Samsung GS7 Edge / Samsung GS7 Active
  • Apple iPhone 7 / Apple iPhone 7 Plus / Apple iPhone 6s / Apple iPhone 6s Plus
  • LG V30 / LG V30+

To be clear, you get the $200 on top of the value of your trade-in — this isn’t T-Mobile trying to buy a working iPhone from you for $200. But the trade-in requirement still means you’re going to have to evaluate this deal carefully, because carrier trade-in pricing tends to undervalue new phones particularly badly. For example, a 32GB iPhone 7 will get you an estimated $122 from T-Mobile, whereas they’re going on eBay for around $350. Things are even worse for old Android phones, which hold value less well than iPhones.

Still, if you have one of the older devices on the list (since the trade-in value for older devices is closer to the true resale value) and you can’t be bothered with dealing with Craigslist strangers, this is a good deal, especially on a premium device like the iPhone X, which doesn’t see many discounts.

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From Cult of Mac: 5 ways Apple will rule Mobile World Congress (without even showing up)

When the entire mobile phone industry heads to Barcelona next week for Mobile World Congress 2018, there will be one notable absence: Apple. Cupertino doesn’t do trade shows. Not even really big ones like MWC. Yet, despite its absence from the massiv…

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From BGR: The iPhone X is causing Samsung problems – just not the way we predicted

For the second time in a matter of days, a report from Asia claims that Apple’s iPhone X is seriously hurting Samsung. It’s just not the way we thought back when the iPhone X launched.

Weaker-than-expected sales forced Apple to revise its iPhone X parts orders, these reports say. And Samsung, the only manufacturer of OLED screens good enough for Apple’s iPhone, is now forced to slash its OLED panel production.

In a follow-up story, Nikkei says that Samsung decided to cut OLED screen production in response to Apple’s decision to reduce iPhone X orders.

Samsung apparently plans to make 20 million iPhone X OLED screens at most during the March quarter. That’s a significant drop compared to the initial goal of 45 million to 50 million iPhone panels. This translates into a 60% overall drop in production for the plant, and a 50% drop for Apple-dedicated OLED production.

Samsung has not decided its production target for the June quarter, but the company envisions further cutbacks in the second quarter.

Samsung is looking to offset the iPhone X losses by selling OLED screens to Chinese and other customers. But the company is still expected to see a profit decline for the first half of the year, compared to 2017. Samsung invested $12.6 billion last year in anticipation of large OLED panel orders from Apple.

Analysts also expect Apple’s OLED orders to recover in the second half of the year. That’s when Apple’s 2018 iPhones are supposed to be unveiled and launched. Apple should launch three distinct iPhones this fall, with up to two models packing OLED screens.

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From Cult of Mac: Apple seeds third betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4

Apple developers received a fresh batch of new beta builds this morning, including the third beta of iOS 11.3, which is set to bring a host of new features and emoji to the public later this year. Other new beta builds seeded today includes macOS High …

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From BGR: Go download iOS 11.3 beta 3 right now

Apple is sticking with its Tuesday release cycle for iOS 11.3 betas, since the latest version — that’s iOS 11.3 beta 3 for those keeping score at home — is available for developers to download right now.

The iOS 11.3 betas have proven to be a goldmine so far. The first beta brought us a bunch of new features, including new Animoji, a version of ARKit, and some battery health data. iOS 11.3 beta 2, released a week ago today, brought us new battery health features, including a toggle that lets users with older batteries disable the “performance enhancements” that got Apple in so much trouble. We’re still combing through the release notes to see if there are new features this week, or whether we’re just getting the dreaded stability improvements and bugfixes.

iOS 11.3 beta 3 is available for download right now for anyone on the developer beta channel. If your device is already configured with the developer profile, you should see the update appear for you to download right now. Just go to Settings–>General–>Software Update, and you should be prompted to download and install the update.

The iOS 11.3 update will be bringing a whole host of new features to the iPhone when it launches. The biggest point of interest for most people has been the new Animoji. Although we’ve become used to new emoji landing with an iOS update, this is the first time that any new Animoji have been released. Apple is blessing us with the power to become a lion, a bear, a dragon, or a skull, which brings the total number of face-mimicking Animoji up to 16.

In addition, iOS 11.3 brings the newest version of Apple’s augmented reality kit, ARKit 1.5 In addition to horizontal surfaces, ARKit will now be able to recognize and place objects on verticals surfaces, like walls and doors. It can recognize the position of a sign or a poster, which Apple says can be utilized for interactive museum exhibits or bringing movie posters to life. Plus, the view from the camera now has a 50% greater resolution and auto-focus.

A battery health function in the Settings app is another big addition, which will let users check the health of their iPhone’s battery without downloading a third-party app or going to the Apple Store. Apple is offering discounted $29 battery replacements to all iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 users, and presumably the company is hoping that having a way to check battery health from within the Settings app will help reduce the number of people swarming the Apple store.

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From Cult of Mac: Apple named world’s most innovative company for 2018

Who said innovation was dead at Apple? Certainly not Fast Company, which just named the iPhone-maker the world’s most innovative company for 2018. Apple secured the top spot “for delivering the future today.” AirPods, Apple Watch Ser…

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From BGR: The Galaxy S9 you can’t buy might be faster than any other Android flagship this year

A few days ago, we saw a bunch of Galaxy S9 benchmark scores pop up, including leaked and official ones. It started with a leak showing Geekbench scores for the Snapdragon 845 version of the handset, which were quickly confirmed by the early Snapdragon 845 reviews that hit the web.

Immediately after that, the first Galaxy S9 Geekbench benchmark for the Exynos 9810 version was leaked, suggesting that the international model will be a lot more powerful than the US-bound one. A fresh leak reinforces that idea. Samsung’s new chip seems to be much closer to Apple’s A11 Bionic than the Snapdragon 845. That means the Galaxy S9 you can’t buy in the States might be faster than most of this year’s Android flagships, as many of them will be powered by Qualcomm’s mobile platform.

Discovered by Dutch site TelefoonAbonnement, the Geekbench test shows the same scores as last week’s leak. The Galaxy S9+ hit 3773 and 9024 in single-core and multi-core tests, which are slightly higher than last week’s leaked Galaxy S9 scores (3648 and 8894). The benchmark listing also proves the Galaxy S9+ will have 6GB of RAM, 2GB more than the Galaxy S9.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 is nowhere near, at least when it comes to single-core scores — it averages around 2400 and 8400 respectively.

What’s impressive about these benchmark leaks is that Samsung appears to be closing in on Apple a lot faster than Qualcomm. Even so, Samsung’s scores might be a lot better than Qualcomm’s, but the Exynos 9810 barely outperforms the two-year-old iPhone 7 Plus when it comes to single-core performance — the iPhone 7 Plus averages at around 3500 and 5900 in the same tests. The iPhone X and iPhone 8, meanwhile, score 4,200 and 10,000 in Geekbench.

The Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 and S9+ versions will be available in Europe and other international markets, while US buyers will get the Snapdragon 845 versions.

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