Crystal Baller: iPad Pro gets a stylus and other insane Apple rumors

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iPad Pro rumors takeover the rumor mill…

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

The iPad Pro has seemed like a myth the last two years, but the rumor mill is heating up with new gossip that Apple might add a stylus to its giant tablet. We’ve also got a new report on the Apple Watch’s dismal battery life, plus pictures that appear to be our first look at the 12-inch MacBook Air.

Which rumors are the real deal and who’s just pretending? Step up to the crystal ball and find out.

Touch controls on the iPad?

The Rumor:You next iPad could have touchscreen controls on the back.

The Verdict: This doesn’t seem like the type of elegant solution Jony Ive would use, so don’t count on it. The iPad already has a display that can put a button in any spot you need. Adding dedicated buttons to the back is the opposite direction Apple’s design is moving.

Apple Watch doesn't have all-day battery?

The Rumor: Apple Watch will only get 19 hours of battery life.

The Verdict: This sounds about right to us. Some people are already complaining about Mark Gurman’s report that Apple Watch’s battery won’t last all-day. With as many features as Apple’s cramming into its first timepiece, we’re not shocked the battery is puny. Tim Cook already said you’ll have to charge it every day. It’s only a first generation device. If it lasts a full 19 hours we’ll be pleased.

Next up on Samsung's copy list?

The Rumor: Samsung plans to fix its glitchy fingerprint sensors by copying TouchID.

The Verdict: Definitely happening. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is supposed to be Samsung’s most innovative device in years because this time they’re not going to just copy Apple. It sounds like they still can’t make fingerprint readers easy to use though, so they’re copying Touch ID’s tap to scan feature.

Who wants a stylus?

The Rumor: The 12-inch iPad Pro will come with a handy dandy stylus.

The Verdict: This rumor is coming straight from the world’s most accurate Apple analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo. We have some serious doubts about it’s accuracy though. First, we don't even know if the 12-inch iPad is a real product, so adding a stylus onto it seems premature. Every analyst and blogger is busting out the “Steve Jobs said ‘if you see a stylus, they blew it,'” quote, but it wouldn’t be the first time el Jobso was proven to be fallible.

I still don’t think this is going to come true though, unless Apple has some really magical new features embedded in the stylus. Also, has anyone considered the 12-inch iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air might be the same product?

Is this the MacBook STEALTH?

The Rumor: First pictures of the 12-inch MacBook Air have leaked.

The Verdict: We’ll give 2/1 odds that these pictures are of the real deal. We already know Apple’s supply partner Quanta has specifications for the MacBook Air STEALTH in its inventory, so we’re probably just a few months away from the launch. Notice that the keyboard didn't leak though?

Crystal Baller: Dual-lens iPhone 6s, ARM-based Macs and 6 more crazy Apple rumors

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The iPhone 6S rumor mill is churning

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.

Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.

Apple and Intel are breaking up?

The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/

The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.

Dual-lens iPhone cameras?

The Rumor: The iPhone 6S will feature a dual-lens camera with optical zoom capabilities.

The Verdict: Sounds almost too good to be true, but we’ve heard this year’s camera upgrade will be the biggest ever. The iPhone is now the 2nd most popular camera brand in the world. Adding optical zoom and better image quality might be enough convince most users to never buy a regular camera again.

Apple patent takes aim at GoPro

The Rumor: GoPro is in trouble after Apple won a patent on its own wearable camera system.

The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.

iPhone joystick?

The Rumor: Your next iPhone could sport a hidden gaming joystick behind the home button.

The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.

Meet Apple's new sapphire supplier

The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.

The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”

Ready for a RAM upgrade?

The Rumor: 2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.

The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.

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iPhone is ditching LCD

The Rumor: Future iPhones are set to get OLED displays.

The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.

12-inch MacBook Airs with one port?

The Rumor: Apple’s redesign of the MacBook Air will pare it down to a 12-inch screen with just one port: USB Type C.

The Verdict The entire 12-inch MacBook Air Stealth scoop by Mark Gurman sounds almost too unreal. I’ll just say, I’ve also heard from one of his incredibly well placed sources, that it is going to happen.

Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are finally on sale

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iPhone 6s is on the way.
Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are finally on sale! Photo: Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Want to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus without a SIM card, or locked to a specific carrier? You finally have your chance: unlocked iPhones have just gone on sale through Apple’s brick-and-mortar and online stores for the very first time.

VII crazy rumors about the new Star Wars film

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Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

With the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer hitting everywhere this weekend, anticipation for the new movie — and thirst for all the details and rumors we can handle — is at an all time high. What are the story details? Who are the characters in the trailer? What about all the original cast members?

Set 30 years after The Battle of Endor (seen in 1983's The Return of the Jedi), The Force Awakens is directed by hotshot and super Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams, fresh off his success with the Star Trek franchise. If the trailer is anything to go by, the new films are in fantastic hands. What the final product will be is any fan’s guess, so here are seven crazy rumors about the details coming to the films next December.

Andy Serkis narrates the trailer and will play two different roles in the film

According to Jedi News, Andy Serkis is the narrator of the new trailer. He'll also play more than one role in the film. One role may be motion-captured as Serkis has been in many movies like King Kong and as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films, as one of a group of super acrobatic creatures. The other role has Serkis's character involved in some way with the young lady in the trailer, Daisy Ridley. This character will have a pivotal role that could have more to it than it seems. Like Obi Wan and Luke Skywalker, perhaps?

John Boyega may play the main character

The rumor here is that Attack the Block star Boyega will be the audience viewpoint character, much like Luke Skywalker was in the original films and Anakin was (less successfully, perhaps) in the prequel trilogy. Latino Review goes even a step farther saying that Boyega may not initially be a Jedi, but might become one under the tutelage of none other than Skywalker himself.

Han and Leia's children may be the protagonists

In a somewhat conflicting rumor, Collider says that the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa may in fact be the lead characters in the upcoming film. Named Jacen and Jaina, the two might be powerful Force-sensitives who receive training from Uncle Luke, but go their own ways when Jacen takes to the Dark Side. File this one under "not likely, but fun."

Daisey Ridley may be playing Han and Leia's daughter

The determined-looking young lady on the improbably designed speeder vehicle in the trailer is none other than Daisey Ridley, a relatively unknown British actress. Speculation is that her character will be the daughter of Han and Leia, Kira, who will meet up with Boyega's character and help him find Luke. CBS News puts her between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in a publicity shot to lend some weight to this rumor.

Han Solo gets plastic white armor again

According to TheForce.net, everyone's favorite smuggler with a heart of gold will put on the Stormtrooper armor again in The Force Awakens in a nice nod to the original trilogy. In A New Hope, Han and Luke both don Stormtrooper outfits to gain access to the Death Star prison hold and free Princess Leia, fresh from her viewing of her home planet being vaporized by the moon-sized super weapon. Here’s hoping Solo wearing the armor again won’t turn into a fourth-wall breaking corn-fest, but it’ll be fun to see him wearing the whites one last time.

Soccer-ball droid is an R-series astromech

Ralph McQuarrie's designs live on, especially in the little soccer-ball droid we get to see partway through the trailer, bloop-bleeping like R2-D2. It's rumored that this new comic relief is, in fact, another R-series droid, as fan site Jalopnik thinks, placing this cute little fellow as an astromech droid, as opposed to the humanoid droids and the non-barrel bodied mechanical creatures.

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Luke Skywalker may end up going to the dark side

In a bit of wild speculation, Making Star Wars thinks some leaked concept art of the scary cyborg character staring at an old Vader helmet is actually Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original three movies, who ended up defeating Darth Vader while using the light side of the Force. Who knows, it might be true - the cloak is similar to the one Mark Hamill wore in The Return of the Jedi, and the mouth could be Hamill's, and that robotic hand is also the correct one for the Luke character.

Crystal Baller: iPhone 7’s astonishing camera and other tantalizing Apple rumors

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A new batch of Apple rumors awaits you…

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

This week we’ve heard rumors that Apple could be readying the biggest iPhone camera upgrade ever with DSLR-quality photos. There’s also whispers that your next iMac could double as a smoke alarm, and other juicy bits. But you’ll have to step up to our crystal ball to find out if they’re likely to come true.

Your next Mac could be a fire alarm

The Rumor: You next Mac could double as a smoke alarm.

The Verdict: There's a 65% chance of this coming true. Apple recently patented a fireproof material for Macs too, so it seems like they're looking intently at connected-home solutions.

Samsung and Apple, attached at the hip

The Rumor: Arch-rival Samsung will remain Apple's top chip supplier.

The Verdict: Most likely. Apple's been trying to reduce its dependency on Samsung components and manufacturing for years, but the problem is there's just not another company that can compete with Samsung's chipmaking biz. TSMC tried but they're still not able to handle as much of the load as Apple would like, so Apple's stuck with Samsung, for better or worse.

Lightning connected accessories

The Rumor: Apple is going to let third-parties use its Lightning port on accessories.

The Verdict: Probably. Apple's proprietary Lightning port is so much easier to use than Micro-USB and other options, that it'd be a shame if Apple limited it to just iPhones. 9to5Mac reports that third-party accessory makers should be getting access soon. Expect to see a slew of Lightning port headphones and other goodies early next year.

Beats Music Bloatware, coming soon.

The Rumor: Beats Music will come preloaded on iOS devices next year.

The Verdict: Probably true, but we wish it weren't. My iPhone already has 23 pre-installed Apple apps that I wish I could delete. Adding a mandatory Beats Music app to the mix just weighs it down even more. Someone needs to tell Tim Cook that bloatware died last decade.

4K video on the iPhone 6s?

iPhone 6s is on the way.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac