Smaller iPhone set to get big battery upgrade in 2017

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iPhone 7
The iPhone 8 will have killer battery life.
Photo: Ste Smith

Apple reportedly plans to pack a much bigger battery inside the new 4.7-inch iPhone set to be revealed later this year.

In his latest research report, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the smaller iPhone will be the first device to feature a stacked logic board design to bring better battery performance.

Popular iOS apps vulnerable to spilling your sensitive data

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iPhone 7 front
Be wary when using Wi-Fi.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Dozens of popular iOS apps are vulnerable to spilling your sensitive data through silent “man-in-the-middle” attacks, according to a reliable mobile security expert.

During testing, Will Strafach, one of the first to hack open the iOS platform, found 76 apps that were guilty of accepting invalid certificates that could be used to intercept data.

AmpliFi HD’s blazing-fast Wi-Fi will spoil you rotten [Reviews]

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AmpliFi HD router
This is not your typical ugly router. An LCD touchscreen tells you what the .AmpliFi HD is up to.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

For years, “the last mile” earned the title of broadband’s biggest boogeyman. Now that most of us benefit from having a fairly fat pipe to our houses, it’s more like the last 10 feet — Wi-Fi dead spots can drive you crazy.

The AmpliFi HD System, one of a new pack of mesh systems that pave the way to our trouble-free Wi-Fi future, solves the problem. With a charming little router and a couple of mesh points, AmpliFi HD makes it possible to get a strong Wi-Fi signal to your basement, your attic or that awkward back bedroom where you can never stream anything. It also eliminates the sort of nerdy pain points typically associated with setting up and managing a home Wi-Fi network.

iPhone 7 Plus survives 13-hour swim in icy Russian river

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If you drop your iPhone 7 Plus down an ice fishing hole, find a friend with a wet suit. It just might still work.
If you drop your iPhone 7 Plus down an ice fishing hole, find a friend with a wet suit. It just might still work.
Photo: emfedor1983/Instagram

A Russian man claims his iPhone 7 Plus he dropped in a frozen river while ice fishing was still working after it was retrieved 13 hours later.

Now if there are two kinds of stories that deserve skepticism, it would be news out of Russia or a story from a fishing trip. But a convincing looking video of the alleged recovery was posted on Instagram a few days ago. It shows a diver emerging from an ice fishing hole holding a lit-up iPhone.

iPhone 8 may pack frickin’ lasers for facial recognition

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Random iPhone shutdowns are still happening.
Lasers could be the iPhone's next big feature.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next iPhone may come with new facial recognition technology and actual friggin’ laser beams, according to an analyst.

By adding lasers near the front-facing camera, Apple will be able to depth-map objects, according to analysts at Cowen and Company. The camera could also be used for image recognition, enhancing security and fueling augmented reality.

Apple fan uses two first-gen iPhones: One for calls, one for trippy pics

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Joe Cunningham
We don't remember the original iPhone camera taking photos like this!
Photo: Joe Cunningham

Joe Cunningham loves the original iPhone so much that he carries two of them — one for calls and texts, and one for taking trippy photos enhanced by a mysterious glitch in the decade-old device.

Like the kind of haunted handset you’d find in a Stephen King novel, the second iPhone exhibits a strange quality: It takes pictures that look like they’re the result of a bad acid trip.

“The psychedelic iPhone only gets used as a camera because I want to extend its life as long as possible,” Cunningham told Cult of Mac.

At 80, Polaroid’s new gear embraces the past while eyeing the future

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The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
Photo: Polaroid

CES2017 The iPhone and Instagram get credit for being the first shoot-and-share social network, but even Steve Jobs would say that’s wrong. The Polaroid camera introduced a social component to taking pictures in the late 1940s, the first instant photography with three steps — shoot, shake and share.

Polaroid brought disruptive innovation to the market and also became a casualty of it when it failed to change course in time to be part of the digital photography revolution.

But a new version of Polaroid is thriving and even stirring up some buzz this week at CES in Las Vegas with new products covering iPhone photography, consumer 3D printing, camera drones and fun cameras that produce an on-the-spot print.

The weirdest Apple stories of 2016

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Wierdest Stories 2016
It's been a weird year. And Apple's no exception.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac Covering Cupertino is more than just statistics and rumors about upcoming products. There’s plenty of weird Apple news, whether it be a Chinese billionaire buying iPhones for his pet dog or the revelation that, in some alternate universe, Tim Cook could become vice president of the United States.

With that in mind, here are the weirdest Apple news stories of 2016.

Apple drops fresh batch of betas for iOS, macOS and tvOS

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x
A new iOS beta is here!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a fresh new batch of beta software from Apple today, just two days after the company launched iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 to the public.

The new first betas for macOS 10.12.3, iOS 10.2.1 and tvOS 10.1.1 all come with a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements, but they likely don’t contain any major new features.