Apple Shares Behind the Scenes Look at How the Portrait Lighting Feature Was Created

Apple this evening uploaded a new “Portrait Lighting” video to its YouTube channel, which is designed to give a behind the scenes look at how the Portrait Lighting effects on the iPhone X were created.

Take a look behind the iPhone X and discover the process we went through to create Portrait Lighting. Combining timeless lighting principles with advanced machine learning, we created an iPhone that takes studio-quality portraits without the studio.

In the video, Apple explains that it worked with global image makers and some of the world’s best photographers to combine timeless lighting principles with machine learning techniques.

The result was the Portrait Lighting feature available in Portrait Mode on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus. On iPhone X, Portrait Lighting is available for both the front and rear facing cameras thanks to the TrueDepth camera system, while on iPhone 8 Plus, it’s available for shots captured with the rear camera.

Apple’s Portrait Lighting feature is designed to use sophisticated algorithms to calculate how your facial features interact with light, creating unique lighting effects.

There are several Portrait mode lighting presets, including Natural Light, Studio Light (lights up your face), Contour Light (adds dramatic shadows), Stage Light (spotlights your face against a dark background), and Stage Light Mono (Stage Light, but in black and white).

Apple has also highlighted Portrait Lighting in several past video ads showing off iPhone X features.

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Apple Resumes Selling Belkin’s InvisiGlass Ultra Screen Protector for iPhone X Following Durability Improvements

Apple this week has begun selling an updated version of Belkin’s InvisiGlass Ultra screen protector for iPhone X on its website and at its retail stores, nearly two months after the original was recalled due to quality issues.



Belkin’s product page states that the screen protector is now 0.29mm thick, compared to 0.21mm for the original InvisiGlass Ultra. As such, the new version will hopefully prove to be more durable, after dozens of customers complained about the first iteration cracking way too easily during normal day-to-day usage.

Belkin halted sales of the original InvisiGlass Ultra in late December due to a wave of negative feedback, including several one-star customer reviews. At the time, a company spokesperson told MacRumors that it considers “product quality and consumer feedback” to be of “paramount importance.”

“We have been constantly testing this product since we released the first generation of it timed to iPhone X availability and things have evolved since you and I last spoke,” a Belkin spokesperson informed MacRumors. “We identified some improvements to be made in the next generation of this product.”

Apple and Belkin appear to have been providing refunds to customers who purchased the original InvisiGlass Ultra and found it to be defective, so we recommend contacting the companies if your screen protector easily cracked.

The new InvisiGlass Ultra remains $39.95 from Apple. The updated screen protector is still listed as “coming soon” on Belkin’s website.

(Thanks, Christian!)

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What to expect from Samsung’s next Galaxy flagships

 It’s that time of year again. Samsung is getting ready to unpack some shiny new high end smartphones at the world’s biggest mobile confab. And Android fans are getting ready to cheer… Read More

How to Disable Apple’s Performance Management Features in Older iPhones in the iOS 11.3 Beta

Starting with the second beta of iOS 11.3, Apple has introduced a new “Battery Health” feature that’s designed to provide you with more information about the state of your battery and whether or not it’s impacting device performance.



If your iPhone has a degraded battery that is leading to throttling issues, the “Battery Health” section will let you know about it, and it will provide an option to turn off performance management to put a stop to any throttling that’s going on.

There are, however, some nuances to this feature that you need to know about, which we’ll outline below.

When Installing iOS 11.3

When you first install the iOS 11.3 update, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. So when you first install the beta, you don’t need to do anything because performance management is turned off.

You will, however, need to watch out for an unexpected shutdown that turns your device off, because if this happens and you have a bad battery, performance management will be turned back on. More on this below.

Accessing Battery Health

You can check out the status of your battery in the new Battery Health section, which will tell you the maximum capacity of the battery in your iPhone and whether or not it’s running at peak performance capacity. Here’s how to get to it:

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to “Battery” and tap it.
  3. Tap on “Battery Health.”

All the info you need to know about your battery is listed here. Maximum Capacity will let you know how your battery is performing overall, and it directly correlates to how long your iPhone will last on a single charge.

Peak Performance Capability will let you know if a degraded battery has resulted in performance slowdowns.

What it Looks Like When Your Device Running Normally

When your iPhone is running as normal, under the “Peak Performance Capability” section, it will say “Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance.”



You may still have somewhat degraded Maximum Battery capacity as this number slowly declines after charging cycles, but throttling does not kick in until the battery becomes severely degraded and can no longer offer enough power to support spikes in processor usage.

What it Looks Like if You Have a Bad Battery

If you have a bad battery, it will say “Your battery’s health is significantly degraded,” and it will let you know that an Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance.



It will also tell you if performance management features have been turned on, and it will provide an option to turn them off.

What Happens When You Have an Unexpected Shutdown

As mentioned above, all performance management features are disabled automatically upon installing iOS 11.3. If your device has a bad battery and it shuts down because of it, performance management will be automatically enabled.

If this happens, you will see the following message under “Peak Performance Capability” in Battery Health.

“This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to prevent this from happening again.”



If you have an unexpected shutdown AND your battery capacity is significantly degraded, you’ll see a slightly different message suggesting an immediate battery replacement.


How to Disable Performance Management if Your Battery is Bad

After experiencing an unexpected shutdown, performance management is turned on automatically on your iPhone. You will, however, see a small “Disable” option when this happens, and if you tap it, you’ll be given the option to disable performance management.



Disabling performance management will turn off any throttling that’s been applied, but it will leave your device vulnerable to future unexpected shutdowns.

You will not see the option to disable performance management until your device has experienced at least one unexpected shutdown, and once you disable it, there is no option to turn it on again.



If your iPhone shuts down again while performance management is disabled, though, performance management will automatically turn it on again.

This means you will need to turn performance management off again each time your device experiences an unexpected shutdown, as Apple believes slower performance is preferable to sudden losses of power.

How to Permanently Disable Performance Management

If you have a device with a bad battery that is experiencing unexpected shutdowns and is subjected to Apple’s performance management feature, the only permanent solution is to get a new battery.

Having your battery replaced will restore an older iPhone to full working order, with maximum capacity and performance capabilities.

Apple is offering $29 battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Your battery does not need to be experiencing shutdowns to be replaced – you can also get a replacement for a battery that’s not operating at maximum capacity, no questions asked. You can get one $29 battery replacement per device.

Newer devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X that have a high maximum capacity near 100% don’t need replacement, but at levels below 90%, it could be worth getting a new battery while Apple is still offering them at a discounted price. To get a battery replacement, contact Apple Support.

If you have AppleCare+ or are under your one-year device warranty and have a battery that’s below 80 percent, you won’t even need to pay the $29 fee — that’s considered a defective battery and Apple will replace it for free.


Devices Impacted by Performance Management

Performance management features have been installed on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE. On other iPhones, like the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, you will be able to see readings for Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability, but you won’t need to worry about throttling or unexpected shutdowns.

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How will new iPhones manage power? Apple’s response to senator raises questions

In early January, Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, called upon Apple to answer for the lack of transparency it showed surrounding its slow-down practices for aging iPhones. Today, Thune’s office released Apple’s response: a five-page letter in which Apple reiterates the slow-down saga. While the letter contains little new information, Apple does touch upon how it may handle customers who already paid full price for battery replacements. The company also hinted at how newer iPhone models will deal with aging battery issues, but Apple did so in a way that doesn’t instill confidence that it will, in fact, be more transparent with its practices in the future.

In the letter dated February 2, 2018, Apple explains how the lithium-ion batteries found in its iPhones age over time and become less able to handle high workloads. To avoid unexpected shutdowns caused by these aging batteries, Apple issued a software update that we now know included a feature that deliberately slowed down the performance of older iPhones to prevent such shutdowns.

Apple addressed transparency only by noting that its updated iOS 10.2.1 ReadMe notes included mention of the power management feature and that it issued a statement to press outlets about seeing “positive results” from the software update.

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Apple Says It’s ‘Looking Into’ Limited Reports of Incoming Call Delays on iPhone X

Apple is “looking into” a limited number of reports from users experiencing delays with incoming phone calls on the iPhone X, the company said in a statement, after the issues were highlighted by the Financial Times today.



The report, which links to a few discussions on the Apple Support Communities, notes that hundreds of customers have complained that the iPhone X’s display experiences delays in turning on for up to 10 seconds during incoming phone calls, preventing these users from tapping the answer button.

Indian blog PiunikaWeb rounded up similar complaints on the Apple Support Communities in January, but it appears affected iPhone X owners have been experiencing this issue since shortly after the device launched in November.

Based on what we’ve read, it appears that affected iPhone X units begin ringing when they receive a phone call, but the display does not turn on to show the caller ID or answer button for several seconds—sometimes even longer than 10 seconds—which typically results in the call being missed.

The issue doesn’t appear to be fixed in the latest iOS 11.2.5 software update, and based on the complaints, it would appear that all versions back to at least iOS 11.2 are affected. Earlier versions of iOS 11 could be affected too.

MacRumors hasn’t been able to reproduce this issue, and we’ve seen only a handful of comments on our discussion forums related to the matter, but we did find a dozen more complaints from users across Twitter and Reddit. We’ve reached out to Apple to ask for an update when it has more information to share.

Apple is likely collecting data from affected customers so that its engineers can investigate the matter, as it routinely does with any potential hardware or software issues, so contact Apple Support if you are affected. The issue likely can and will be addressed in a future software update.

Apple has dealt with a number of iPhone X hardware and software issues in recent months, some more widespread than others, including a defect causing green lines to appear on some displays, temporary unresponsiveness in cold temperatures, and the rear-facing camera failing to autofocus.

Last week, reports broke that Apple has decided to delay some new features planned for iOS 12 until next year so that it can double down on the performance and quality of the iPhone and iPad operating system in the near term.

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iPhone Was Best Selling Smartphone in Q4 2017 Amid Industry Wide Decline

Apple yesterday announced that it sold 77.3 million iPhones during the first fiscal quarter of 2018 (fourth calendar quarter of 2017), and according to data shared by Strategy Analytics, Apple’s record sales made the iPhone the top selling smartphone in the world during the quarter.

In Q4 2017, Samsung shipped 74.7 million iPhones, 2.6 million fewer than Apple’s 77.3 million. Other vendors like Huawei and OPPO shipped far fewer devices at 41 million and 29.5 million, respectively. Apple also beat out competitors with the average selling price of its iPhones during the quarter, which came in at $796.



Apple beat out all other smartphone vendors including Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi, but its overall iPhone shipments were down from 78.3 million in the year-ago quarter. It’s worth noting, however, that Q4 2017 was a 13 week quarter, while Q4 2016 was a 14 week quarter.

While Apple came out on top in global smartphone shipments during the quarter, Samsung continues to be the top vendor overall. Apple’s share of the market was 19.3 percent in Q4 2017, compared to Samsung’s 18.6 percent, but its overall marketshare for 2017 was 14.3 percent, compared to Samsung’s 21.1 percent.

Overall global smartphone shipments declined year over year, falling from 438.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 400.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. According to Strategy Analytics, it was “the biggest annual fall in smartphone history.”

Over the course of 2017, though, smartphone shipments actually grew 1 percent and topped 1.5 billion units for the first time ever.

Apple does not break down its iPhone sales, but yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone X has been the top selling iPhone every week since it shipped in December. Cook also said that the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus lineup brought in the highest revenue of any lineup in the company’s history.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: iPhone X Has Been the Top Selling iPhone Every Week Since it Shipped

During today’s earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone X has “surpassed our expectations” and has been the “top selling iPhone” every week since it shipped in November.

Apple says the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus lineup brought in the highest revenue of any iPhone lineup in the company’s history.



Apple does not break down iPhone sales by model, but the company sold 77.3 million iPhones in total, which was below analyst expectations. iPhone average selling price was up thanks to the iPhone X, coming in at $796 compared to $695 in the year-ago quarter.

Cook also said that customer satisfaction is “off the charts” for the iPhone X, and that Face ID was “incredibly well received.”

Cook was asked about the future of the iPhone X and whether Apple sees its lineup expanding to encompass two iPhone X-style devices in the future, and he of course declined to respond.

He did, however, say that Apple is “thrilled” with the reception to the iPhone X, and that with its launch, the company was setting up the next decade of development. “That’s how we look at it, and that’s the reason it’s chock full of incredible innovations. So you can bet that we’re pulling that string,” Cook said.

Going forward, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said in answer to a question about slower growth in the coming quarter that Apple believes iPhone revenue will actually grow double digits compared to last year’s March quarter. iPhone sell-through growth, he says, will be accelerating compared to the December quarter.

Apple’s guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 includes expected revenue of $60-$62 billion and gross margin between 38 and 38.5 percent.

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