More iPhone 7 Rumors; Twitter Limits US Spy Agencies Access to Alert Tool

With the iPhone 7 models due out in around 4 months, the rumors are breaking more frequently now…and contradicting each other. Bgr.com says a design leak obtained by French site NowhereElse shows the iPhone 7 as having identical height and width as the 6 and 6S. It doesn’t disclose whether or not the next model will be thinner, however, or if the headphone jack on the bottom stays or goes. There is no opening at the bottom for a Smart Connector like on the iPad Pro, which had been rumored, but the camera opening is larger…it may not be large enough for the dual lens camera…which is supposed to bow on the larger iPhone 7 Plus anyway, but perhaps to allow for a larger sensor. The cam opening is closer to the edge, too.

Twitter has blocked US law enforcement and spy agencies from using a data analytics service that processes tweets and messages in real time. According to cnet.com, the tools are from the private company Dataminr. Twitter hasn’t publicly confirmed or denied the change. Apparently the analytics gave authorities a 10 minutes lead over mainstream media outlets in covering and responding to the Brussels attacks. Spies being spies, it’s probably only a matter of time…and not much time….before they are able to restore their access to this type of info from Twitter, even without Twitter’s blessing or knowledge.


Facebook’s New Dedicated Video Tab; Huawei Shows New Dual Lens Leica Branded Cam in Latest Phone

In an update, Facebook has replaced the Messenger tab that was front and center at the bottom of the app with the live video tab. Theverge.com reports that the tab has different sections for broadcasts happening around the world and broadcasts by your friends and the pages you follow. You can also search for videos by topic. Facebook says the tab is rolling out initially to “a very small percentage” of users. If you like Periscope, you’ll find that they have borrowed features shamelessly from them.

Speaking of cameras and video, Huawei has showed off its latest flagship smartphones. The P9 has a 5.2 inch screen and the P9 Plus a 5.5 inch one. Both feature a Leica branded dual lens camera. TechCrunch.com notes that Huawei says the cam is co-engineered with the famous optics maker, so don’t expect actual Leica lenses! The dual lens rollout now gets the drop on Apple by almost 6 months. Huawei is the 3rd largest smartphone maker by global market share, behind Samsung and Apple. The setup is supposed to give better color and clarity, and allow refocusing after the fact as the old Lytro camera. They also have a ‘Leica film mode,’ which mimics 3 old film processing styles…for those that like to kick a smartphone camera old school.


Big 3rd iPhone 7 Model May Be Out This Fall; Google Killing Wallet With Recognition App

This seems to be way out there as a rumor, but the source is KGI Securities, which has a pretty stellar track record on things Apple. Forbes.com reports that besides the 4 inch iPhone SE out in weeks, there will be 3 iPhone 7 models in September…a 4.7 inch 7, a 5.5 inch 7 Plus, and a new premium model based on the Plus currently dubbed the iPhone 7 Pro. The key feature? The dual lens camera from the Israeli company Apple bought we’ve already reported on. KGI says they may not be able to produce enough in volume to put the cam in the other iPhone 7 models, so a limited edition Pro model may carry the camera with a 2-3 power zoom, better speed and low light shots, and the ability to shoot video and still pictures simultaneously. We’ll have to wait until fall to see if KGI Securities is right or wrong!

Google has rolled out a replacement for Wallet for hands free pay, if you’re ready for it. Basically, it’s an app that calculates when you are close enough to a cash register or checkout kiosk. Bgr.com reports that the app then transmits your photo and initials to the receiving register. When you check out, the cashier just looks at you and the picture and asks your initials to verify, and you’re done. It remains to be seen if users will be comfortable with this.


Apple Next Big Thing- VR; Your Twitter Timeline Isn’t Changing

Ever since Steve Jobs left the mortal world, there’s been fairly continuous hand-wringing about what Apple’s going to do when they run out of his clever ideas. Now, it appears Apple’s next big thing may well be virtual reality. What could be bigger than a powerful computer in your hand? How about dropping you into a totally computer generated world of VR, or assisting you with amazing augmented reality? Business insider.com points out that Cupertino is already staffing up, and that a division has been building VR prototypes for months, and that Apple has purchased at least 4 startups in related tech. Then, there’s the fact that Apple-ites hadn’t set foot in Stanford’s VR lab for 13 years…until lately. Now, they’ve dropped in 3 times in the last 3 months. Finally, think about the dual lens camera Apple has been placing large orders for…as we’ve reported, to go into the iPhone 7. Besides shooting stills and video at the same time, and multi focus adjustable pictures, a dual lens is good for augmented reality.

After a major freakout that Twitter was going to kill the chronological timeline, CEO Jack Dorsey had to come out over the weekend and say ‘it ain’t so.’ Dorsey says such a change was never planned, and in fact Twitter hopes to make your timeline feel more…not less…live. As engadget.com notes, the chronological feed is the feature that separates Twitter from the other social networks…and despite out of order features like ‘while you were away,’ it will continue to be a firehose of breaking news and fresh information.


New Details About iPhone 7 Leaked; Zagg Buys Battery Phone Case Maker Mophie

If rumors are true, the iPhone 7 due out in September will lose its camera bump on the back, as well as the unsightly antenna bands across the back. Macrumors.com reports that a thinner camera module, made possible by a patented curved portion, yields the flat rear surface. Apple has ordered dual lens camera modules from a supplier in addition to single lens ones, so the iPhone 7 Plus may get the duel lens camera that can shoot snapshots and HD video at the same time.

I have used Mophie’s Juicepack battery cases since the iPhone 3, and find their doubling of battery life invaluable for travel. Engadget.com says Zagg has swallowed up Mophie for a cool 100 million. It should be a good marriage…Zagg makes all kinds of mobile accessories from keyboards to screen protectors and cases, while Mophie has focused on battery cases and added memory cases for iPhones and Androids and stand alone battery packs. Yes, I’ll probably buy another Juicepack when the iPhone 7 rolls out…you can’t do a road trip without one.