Apple Secures Rights to AirPower Trademark Amid Launch Rumors

Amid launch rumors that Apple is preparing to release the AirPower sometime soon, the Cupertino company has finally secured the rights to the AirPower trademark.

To get the AirPower trademark, Apple had to jump through quite a few hoops over the course of the last few months, ultimately seeming to purchase access from a company that had previously applied for the trademark.


Apple first attempted to trademark the AirPower name in the summer of 2018, but found that a company named Advanced Access Technologies had filed an earlier application to trademark the term.

The AirPower trademark registered by Advanced Access Technologies was then provisionally granted and published for opposition in December 2018. Ahead of when a trademark is officially granted, the USPTO takes opposition filings from anyone who believes the trademark could result in confusion with an existing product.

Apple opposed Advanced Access Technologies' trademark of AirPower in January 2019, claiming that it would interfere with similar trademarked Apple product names, including AirPlay, AirPort, AirPods, and AirPrint.

After fighting to prevent the AirPower trademark from being granted to Advanced Access Technologies for several months with multiple different filings with the USPTO, Apple yesterday suddenly withdrew its opposition and the dispute was terminated.


Just after Apple withdrew opposition on Advanced Access Technologies' trademark of the AirPower name, an Apple lawyer was appointed the attorney of the trademark case, suggesting that Apple purchased rights to the AirPower trademark from Advanced Access Technologies ahead of an imminent AirPower launch that would not give Apple time to secure the trademark through other means.

Advanced Access Technologies is still listed as the owner of the trademark, but Apple appears to be in the process of getting that changed, with Apple lawyer Thomas Perle now named as the attorney on the trademark application.


Apple's acquisition of the AirPower trademark comes amid new rumors suggesting a launch for the long-delayed accessory isn't too far off. There's new code in the iOS 12.2 beta related to charging multiple devices at once, which wasn't there before, indicating Apple may be planning to release the AirPower sometime around when iOS 12.2 comes out.

The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, and just today, we found an image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods Wireless Charging Case hidden in the source code on Apple's website in Australia.

It's still not clear when the AirPower is actually going to launch, but with increasing signs of its arrival, it could come at any time. Apple this week released new iPads, iMacs, and updated AirPods on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, leading to speculation the company was gearing up to introduce the AirPower, but there's still no sign of the device.

We could potentially hear word on when we can expect the AirPower at Apple's March event, which will take place next Monday. Apple is using the event to introduce a new Apple News service and streaming TV service. Rumors have, however, suggested the event will not focus on hardware, so we could be waiting until later in the spring for an AirPower update.


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Prototype Development Board of Original iPhone Surfaces in Never-Before-Seen Photos

The Verge has obtained never-before-seen photos of a development board for the original iPhone, providing an interesting look back at the measures Apple took to ensure the smartphone remained as much of a secret as possible.


The large circuit board contains nearly all of the original iPhone's components, including its processor, memory, storage, 30-pin dock connector, camera, home button, SIM card slot, and antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There are also some non-iPhone parts such as two Mini-USB connectors for accessing the baseband.

While this particular Engineering Validation Test (EVT) prototype has an iPhone display attached, the report notes that some boards were even supplied without the screen, meaning that many Apple engineers working on the original iPhone back in 2006-2007 had no idea what the handset would eventually look like.


The Verge's Tom Warren:
If an engineer inside Apple received a development board like this without a screen, component video and RCA connectors on the side of the board could be used to connect it to a display. Engineers could also test headphone connectivity, thanks to stereo line out ports on the side. Even the iPhone's main camera is mounted on the board for testing, and there's a giant space left to test the battery. If engineers didn't have a battery connected, a DC connector at the top can be used for external power. Apple also left room for what is marked as "prox flex" for proximity sensor testing.
Nowadays, Apple uses security shields for iPhone prototypes, but this early board is a fascinating look back at Apple's secrecy leading up to Steve Jobs' famous introduction of the iPhone. The full article is a worthwhile read.


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Apple’s Online Store Goes Down Amid New iMac and iPad Rumors

Apple's online store has gone down this morning. The company typically takes the site down pending changes to its product lineup, so we may well see new product announcements later today.


Apple has several rumored products debuting soon, including a new affordable iPad, iPad mini 5, next-generation AirPods, and its long-delayed AirPower wireless charging mat.

At least some of these product announcements were expected to be made via press release during the company's March 25 "It's Showtime" event, which will reportedly be service-focused, but Apple could feasibly announce new products sooner.

Indeed, well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman recently suggested Apple could decide to announce new iMacs and iPads ahead of its upcoming media event in order to underline how much it intends to focus on news and video services.


We'll follow up on this development shortly when we learn more.


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Leaked Aquaman Movie Suggests iTunes 4K Stream Cracked for First Time

A 4K version of the movie "Aquaman" has popped up on torrent sites, and, as noted by TorrentFreak, it looks like the file may have come from iTunes, suggesting Apple's protections for 4K content have been breached.

The "Aquaman" file in question, which was shared earlier this week on Reddit, is labeled as a Web-DL, a name used in torrents to denote where it's from. Web-DL indicates a file pulled from a streaming service like Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon.

The title, "Aquaman.2018.2160p.WEB-DL.DDP5.1.HDR.HEVC-MOMA," suggests that this is a 4K release that was decrypted directly from iTunes. This is something that has never happened before with a 4K WEB-DL.
The file is indeed in 4K, and it popped up on torrent sites shortly after the movie was released on iTunes. There are no 4K releases of "Aquaman" from Netflix or Amazon, which led to immediate speculation that someone had managed to decrypt the file from iTunes.

4K files from iTunes have never been spotted on piracy sites before, making this a first that the piracy community is excited about. "4k Web-dl, history has been made today for pirates," wrote one reddit user on the r/piracy subreddit.

TorrentFreak says that it's "too early" to jump to conclusions about the origin of the file. While it's 4K, it could be mislabeled. There's a 4K version on VUDU, though the pirated version was uploaded ahead of the VUDU release.

If it is from iTunes, it's not yet clear how it was accessed. 4K content is only available on the Apple TV via tvOS, suggesting that if there's a security hole, it's in the tvOS operating system.
A source who has experience with the matter believes that it most likely comes from iTunes, as advertised. How, exactly, remains a mystery, but there may be a vulnerability in Apple's tvOS.

"Apple has 4k only on Apple TV running tvOS. I assume they skipped checks, if the device is jailbroken, and someone just dumped the encrypted stream and decrypted it via what's in memory as keys," says our source, who prefers to remain anonymous.
Since Aquaman appeared, two additional 4K Web-DL files for "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" have surfaced on torrent sites.

If there is indeed a vulnerability that has been exploited by those who pirate movies to access 4K iTunes content, Apple is likely to implement a fix quickly to prevent pirates from stealing additional 4K movies.


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Apple Shares New ‘iPhone Can Do What?’ Features Page

Apple recently added a new features page to its website, which offers an in-depth look at the capabilities of Apple's modern iPhones.

The site is organized into tiles, each featuring an explanation of a feature along with a short video, a photo, and a link to one of Apple's support documents.


Topics covered include water resistance, privacy, AirDrop, Group FaceTime, photos search, Memoji, Do Not Disturb, Find My iPhone, Apple Pay, iMessage photo effects, and more.


Apple includes both major features like Face ID, along with smaller hints and tips like holding the space bar to move the cursor to quickly fix a typo or double tapping the space bar while typing for a period.


It's a useful site for anyone who isn't super familiar with the feature set on the iPhone, and it's also useful for more advanced users because it also has lesser known options that some people might not know about.


Apple has a whole range of support documents on every topic you might think of, but doesn't often link to them on its main site, which makes the features page unique. Apple is highlighting the new features page on its main Apple.com homepage.


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Check Out These Cheap $50 AirPods Knockoffs

Apple's AirPods are one of its most popular product lines in recent years, and have resulted in crazy demand, memes, and dozens of knockoff products.

In our latest YouTube video, we picked up a pair of $50 i10 TWS earphones that have been designed to look like AirPods to see how they measure up to the real thing.

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The i10 TWS AirPods knockoffs are almost carbon copies of the AirPods and at first glance, it's hard to tell them apart. There are some noticeable differences to distinguish the two, though, which will be obvious to AirPods owners.

Instead of a Lightning port, the i10 TWS earbuds have a USB-C port for charging, though they also support Qi-based wireless charging, which the AirPods don't offer. There's also an LED charging indicator light on the front and no Bluetooth pairing button on the back.


When it comes to the case, the i10 TWS is clearly lower quality than the AirPods as it's lighter, feels flimsier, and makes a clicking noise when you open the lid, but the fake AirPods inside look quite similar to real AirPods.

The i10 TWS earbuds are nearly indistinguishable from AirPods, and they sound pretty similar too. Sound quality was about the same with both, and the same goes for voice quality when using the microphone for calls.


Like the AirPods, the i10 TWS earbuds use gestures, with a single tap able to play/pause music and a double tap able to skip tracks. A two-second hold activates a voice assistant like Siri.

There are missing AirPods features, though. There's no autopause/autoplay function when removing one of the i10 TWS earbuds from your ear, and there's no simple pairing due to the lack of a W1 chip.

The i10 TWS earbuds pair to a device like any other Bluetooth headphones, and they also don't enjoy the same long range. As for battery life, they last for about three hours worth of streaming music and charge up in about an hour and a half over USB-C.


So while these look, feel, and sound like AirPods, the i10 TWS earbuds are missing some key features, which explains why the price is so much lower. You can snap these up for about $50, which is more than $100 less than the AirPods.

Would you ever buy knockoff AirPods instead of the real thing? Let us know in the comments.


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Apple Buys Patent Portfolio From Failed Home Security Camera Company Lighthouse AI

Apple recently acquired the patent portfolio of Lighthouse AI, a home security company that went out of business at the end of last year, reports London-based site IAM.

Lighthouse AI created in-home security cameras with people, pet, and facial recognition that used advanced AI techniques to distinguish adults from kids and to customize alerts. It also supported voice-based natural commands like "let me know if the kids aren't home by 4pm on weekdays" and "what did the kids do while I was out yesterday?"


Lighthouse had several patents that have been snapped up by Apple. Most include standard security camera features, but there are a couple that are related to the depth sensing technology that Lighthouse used. A list of granted and pending patents that Apple purchased (via AppleInsider) are below:

  • 9,396,400: Computer-vision based security system using a depth camera

  • 9,965,612: Method and system for visual authentication

  • 10,009,554: Method and system for using light emission by a depth-sensing camera to capture video images under low-light conditions

  • 20170032192: Computer-Vision Based Security System Using a Depth Camera

  • 20180367962: Two-Way Communication Interface for Vision-Based Monitoring System

  • 20180246964: Speech Interface for Vision-Based Monitoring System

  • 20180374325: Method and System for Incident Sharing in a Monitoring System


Lighthouse ultimately went out of business because it was unable to compete in a crowded home security camera market where it was pitted against higher-profile companies like Ring, Nest, Logitech, and Arlo.

Apple is not interested in home security cameras and has no plans for such a product, but some of the technology used by Lighthouse could be applied to other hardware. Apple already uses facial recognition technology in iPhones and iPads with the launch of Face ID, and it is rumored to be including 3D camera tech in 2020 iPhones and iPads.


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Samsung’s New Galaxy S10+ vs. Apple’s iPhone XS Max

Samsung's new Galaxy S10+, announced on February 20, is set to ship next week with all of the latest technologies Samsung has developed over the course of the last year.

We were able to get our hands on an S10+ early, and we thought we'd take a look to see how it measures up to the iPhone XS Max.

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Samsung's Galaxy S10+ uses the design that we've come to expect from modern smartphones, with an edge-to-edge display and slim bezels designed to maximize available screen size. The Galaxy S10+ uses a 6.4-inch 3040 x 1440 OLED display and rather than a notch, there's a hole punch-style cutout that Samsung calls the Infinity-O display.

On the S10, it's a single little circle, but on the S10+, which has a dual-lens front-facing camera, the cutout, located at the right side of the display, is a bit wider. It's an odd location, but like the notch, it kind of blends in and you forget it's there with regular use. The OLED display looks amazing with bright, vibrant colors, as does the iPhone XS Max display, but the display of the S10+ curves down towards the edges.


At 6.4 inches and with these curved sides, the S10+ is not a one-handed device, but then neither is the iPhone XS Max. Rather than using facial recognition like Apple, which Android device manufacturers have yet to master, Samsung implemented an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. It's neat and works well enough, but it's not as fast or as accurate as Face ID.

Apple's iPhone XS Max has a dual-camera setup, while the Galaxy S10+ is equipped with three cameras: a telephoto, a wide-angle lens, and an ultra wide-angle lens. This is the same general setup that we're expecting in the 2019 successor to the iPhone XS Max, but for now, Samsung has the edge here. We're going to be doing a deeper dive into the S10+ camera, so stay tuned to MacRumors for that.


Samsung implemented a unique "Wireless PowerShare" feature that lets the Galaxy S10+ charge other Qi-based devices like the Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Buds, and even the iPhone. It's quite a neat feature and one that Apple is also rumored to be implementing in the 2019 iPhone lineup. 2019 iPhones should be able to charge the rumored AirPods with wireless charging case that are in the works and other Qi-based devices.


The Galaxy S10+ brings an updated One UI Android skin, which is similar to the stock Android installation on Google Pixel devices. It's quick, fast, and has a system-wide dark mode, which is something that's also rumored to be coming to iPhones in 2019 with iOS 13.

As for internals, the Galaxy S10+ is using either a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip (in the U.S. and China) or its own Exynos processor. Benchmarks have already suggested that the Galaxy S10+ is slower than the iPhone XS Max, but in practice both smartphones are so fast that there's not going to be much of a noticeable difference in performance between the two.


Samsung's Galaxy S10 and S10+ are certainly some of the best Android devices available right now with innovative features and top of the line specs that aren't included in current iPhones. We'll need to wait for September to see what Apple has in store for its own 2019 device lineup, but rumors so far are promising.

Are you impressed with the Galaxy S10 and S10+? Are there features you hope will come to Apple devices? Let us know in the comments.


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Virginia Teacher Sentenced to 34 Months in Prison for 2014 Celebrity iCloud Hack

For his role in the 2014 iCloud hacks that saw many celebrity photos illicitly shared on the internet, former high school teacher Christopher Brannan has been sentenced to 34 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (via AppleInsider).

Brannan was charged with unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft. Court documents say that he accessed the iCloud, Yahoo, Facebook, and email accounts of more than 200 victims, both celebrities and non-celebrities.

He was able to obtain full iCloud backups, photographs, and other information using phishing email accounts that were designed to look like legitimate emails from Apple. He also hacked email accounts by answering security questions using data found on victims' Facebook accounts.

After obtaining Apple account information, Brannan would search for "sensitive and private photographs and videos, including nude photographs."

Brannan is one of multiple people who were found accessing and distributing celebrity photos in the 2014 attack. Ryan Collins, Edward Majerczyk, and Emilio Herrera, and George Garafano have previously been sentenced to prison terms ranging from eight months to 18 months.

When hundreds of nude celebrity photos began leaking on the internet in 2014 as part of what's now known as the "Celebgate" attack, there was initial speculation that iCloud had been hacked.

Following an investigation, however, Apple found that the accounts in question were compromised by weak passwords and skilled phishing attempts.

Apple has since implemented multiple changes to iCloud security, adding two-factor authentication to iCloud.com, introducing email alerts when an iCloud account is accessed either on the web or on another device, and requiring app-specific passwords for third-party apps that access iCloud.

Unfortunately, the kind of phishing emails that led to the 2014 celebrity leak are still widely used today, and phishing scammers have only gotten better at what they do.

To thwart phishing attempts, Apple maintains a support page with information on how to avoid fake support calls, phishing emails, and other scam techniques that malicious individuals employ to extract information from Apple users.

Those concerned about being the victim of a phishing attack should take measures to stay safe, including using two-factor authentication, getting a password manager like 1Password and using a unique password for each and every site, and avoiding suspicious phone calls and emails, even if they look like they come from Apple.


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Apple Spotlighting Teachers and Students Using Innovative Tech in Schools

Apple today launched a new article series in its Newsroom highlighting teachers and students who use innovative technology in the classroom.

The first article focuses on the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) in California, which hosts an annual student-created show called "Playlist."


Students at Huntington Beach APA use Apple hardware and software to prepare for the show, such as Final Cut Pro to edit music videos and Logic Pro X to for audio production. Students get hands-on training in theater tech, audio recording, video production, and more as part of their curriculum.

An iPad Pro in the theater powers a Yamaha CL5 digital mixer for controlling sound levels, and students have access to a recording studio and other music creation spaces.

Many of the students are in the Music, Media, and Entertainment Technology program, designed to prepare them to succeed in the music industry. Jamie Knight, who runs the program, says it's imperative to focus on both technology and art, a philosophy Apple has always agreed with.
"We don't just focus on the technology," Knight says. "It's that performing arts experience that gives them leadership skills, confidence, team work, all of those soft skills that businesses want. You have to perform to get that, and then when you marry that with the technology and you give the kids the ability to have a real recording studio to work with, they're going to be the next Steven Spielberg, or the next Paul McCartney."
The school uses Apple products because they are "equipped with tools to teach," such as GarageBand and iMovie.

Apple's full dive into the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts and its annual "Playlist" production can be read in the Apple Newsroom.


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