This week’s top stories: iPhone 8 / X details, new Apple TV & Apple Watch Series 3, Steve Jobs Theater, more

In this week’s top stories: Apple officially unveils the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K, an onstage gaffe casts a shadow on Face ID’s first demo, iPhone X pricing and availability concerns, and more…

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This week marked one of the biggest of the year for Apple. The company held its September special event at Steve Jobs Theater, and one of the most exciting parts of the event was getting our first look at Steve Jobs Theater, as well as bits and pieces of Apple Park as a whole.

Apple kicked off its event with the announcement of the Apple Watch Series 3, which brings enhancements such as a processor that’s 70 percent faster and cellular connectivity. There’s also a host of new Apple Watch bands available. The company then unveiled its new Apple TV 4K and subsequently started rolling out 4K HDR content to iTunes.

Then came the big iPhone announcements – starting with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Both of these devices feature a refreshed design with glass backs and support for wireless charging. Both are powered by Apple’s A11 Bionic chip and feature camera improvements such as 4K 60 fps video support.

The “One more thing…” was the iPhone X, which features a completely new bezel-less design with an OLED display, as well as a new glass back and Face ID. The iPhone X, however, won’t be available until next month, with preorders starting on October 27th with a release the next week on November 3rd.

Head below for all of this week’s top stories.

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This week Benjamin and Zac react to Apple’s September event announcements including the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, Apple TV 4K, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X, and much (much) more.

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NVC Episode 373: Nintendo Direct Reactions and Monster Hunter Stories


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We talk about how Switch’s holiday 2017 lineup is shaping up.

Welcooooooome back, Nintendo fans! In episode 373 of our weekly talk show, Nintendo Voice Chat, we share out thoughts on the many announcements Nintendo stuffed into this week’s Direct broadcast.

Join Casey DeFreitas, Brian Altano, Zach Ryan, and Peer Schneider, for a discussion about Bethesda’s attempt to fill the “shooter gap” on Switch with Doom and Wolfenstein, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Octopath Traveler, Pokemon, new systems, amiibo, Kirby, Mario Party, Splatoon, and so much more. We also ask the question whether Nintendo has shown too much of Super Mario Odyssey and hear from Casey why you should be playing Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS. It’s a packed show, but we also managed to squeeze in another Question Block segment.

As always, you can watch NVC here on IGN and on our YouTube channel (subscribe and like!) or listen to it on your commute in audio format. If you enjoy the show, share it with your fellow Nintendo fans and leave us a review on iTunes or Google Play. A minute of your time can make a huge difference when it comes to supporting the content you love!

Listen to the Latest Episode of NVC Right Here

Discussion topics and times:

00:00 Weeeelcome!

01:17 Nintendo Direct impressions.

02:37 Bethesda is bringing Doom and Wolfenstein II to Switch. What’s that mean for the system?

07:00 Super Mario Odyssey: have we seen too much? Not just Mario’s nipples — gameplay-wise.

13:00 Kirby Star Allies will ensure more violence against trees

14:39 Casey’s take: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

17:29 New 2DS systems are coming. What do we get in the US, what do you have to import from Japan?

19:52 Splatoon 2 stages announced, plus voice chat (app) fixes

21:50 The J-RPGs are coming: Octopath Traveler and Xenoblade 2

33:00 Arena of Valor, Mario Party: The Top 100, Minecraft, Dragon Quest Builders, Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud

39:35 Zelda Champions amiibo

40:00 What are Nintendo’s Arcade Archives?

43:00 More Snipperclips

43:50  Other announcements: Sine Mora and Runbow — but no Okami (boo!)

45:18 Monster Hunter Stories: Casey finished it and share her impressions

53:00 Quick take of the latest Nindies: Axiom Verge, Beach Buggy Racing, Semispheres, Robonauts, Kingdom: New Lands

55:45 Question Block: your questions answered

Bonus VLOG: NVC at PAX 2017, over on our YouTube channel:

Have we Seen too Much of Super Mario Odyssey?

We can’t wait to play it — but is it time to avert our eyes to avoid seeing too many of the game’s worlds? Or does more equals better apply here?

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Leave a comment, join the 7,700 NVC fans here on Facebook, or ask a question! Do you have a great idea or topic for a future episode of Nintendo Voice Chat? Want to be featured on Question Block? Email us: nvc@ign.com.


This week’s top stories: Last minute ‘iPhone X’ details ahead of next week’s event and more

In this week’s top stories: We get our hands on the iOS 11 GM and dig up a slew of details about the ‘iPhone X’ and new Apple Watch, while a pair of reports suggest the flagship iPhone won’t be released until October. We also get a few more details about Steve Jobs Theater. Read on for the full roundup…

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This week, we got our hands on the iOS 11 GM and dug up all sorts of details about the flagship OLED iPhone, codenamed ‘D22.’ First and foremost, the firmware indicates that Apple will unveil the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X on Tuesday.

Additionally, the device features something called Portrait Lighting, as well as a True Tone display. The code also hinted at a revised version of AirPods and showcased a variety of new dark wallpapers that seem perfect for an OLED display.

Furthermore, the iOS 11 GM Leak seemingly confirmed the LTE Apple Watch as well as a new Digital Crown design. It also offered more details on how iOS 11 will handle the “notch” design and how Face ID will work.

Continuing with the iPhone 8, a pair of reports this week suggested that Apple is one month behind its production schedule for the device and thus it won’t be released until after the iPhone 7s. This would likely mean it’s on track for an October release.

Finally, Zac rounded up everything to expect at next week’s Apple event, including the iPhone 8, new Apple Watch, and 4K Apple TV. The event will be held at Steve Jobs Theater and we got a bit more information about that venue this week, as well.

Head below for all of this week’s top stories.

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Happy Hour Podcast #136 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the App Store overhaul on iOS 11, Family Sharing and iCloud, Apple’s new Beats Studio 3 headphones, progress at Steve Jobs Theater, and expectations for the 4K Apple TV/LTE Apple Watch/iPhone 8 event on Tuesday.

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12 Ways To Use Instagram Stories Like A Pro

Stories or still photos? That’s become an increasingly common question since Instagram introduced its Snapchat-imitating video feature. The ephemeral mobile viewing experience has grown rapidly since then–surpassing 250 million daily active users earlier this summer.

One result is that the number of badly shot mobile videos is proliferating, making it even harder to stand out and get noticed in feeds. Here are some of the things I have learned about effectively using Instagram Stories since it launched in 2016. These are tips and tricks I used while covering the nine-month battle for Mosul in Iraq for the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy, among others. Some of this material is from presentations I’ve given at Instagram and Facebook as well.

There are countless ways to use the Instagram app, and my hope is that these 12 ideas will either help get you started or spark some creativity if you’re already using it.

Tip 1: Use your phone’s native camera for pictures or video. Don’t use the app’s camera. Video and pictures taken in Instagram’s app are lower resolution than what your camera shoots. You’ll also have more limited options for editing your video or pictures if you shoot directly from the app. The downside to this is that your phone will run out of storage more quickly and need to be backed up more often.

Tip 2: Download and save everything captured. Set Instagram to automatically download all your images and videos (under Stories settings “Save Shared Photos”). You’ll never know what you want to remember or how you might need to reuse what you’ve shot. This is especially important when dealing with newsworthy video or pictures–what you shoot during the day may be important evidence, and you might need it later. Save everything.

Tip 3: Shoot vertically. People hold their phones vertically when scrolling through their feed, and because of that are less likely to rotate it when they land on your story. If your video is horizontal, it could push viewers to skip over it and ignore your story altogether. Learn to shoot vertically, and adapt your material to viewer preferences.

Tip 4: Edit and upload at the end of the day. This is especially important if you’re working with a weak internet connection–maybe somewhere rural or remote. If uploads fail, they are likely to sequence out of order when you finally get to upload everything, and that can ruin a narrative story arc. To get around this problem, sequence everything at once when you get somewhere with a strong internet connection. Uploading all at once also allows your viewers to see everything together instead of flipping back and forth between chapters, or only seeing one slide without much context.

Tip 5: Keep your videos between five and 10 seconds in length. Less than five seconds of video is barely enough to show a situation, and anything longer than 10 seconds will most likely get swiped over. Use the iPhone’s edit feature to trim the video to find the best part of your clips. Shooting 15- to 20-second clips at a time will help you create enough video to sort through and shorten later.

Tip 6: Make your text short and to the point. Condense the text that accompanies your story as much as possible. Assume people using Instagram have about the same reading attention span that you do (no offense). Using that as a guide, you probably only have a few seconds to command someone’s attention, even if the content is riveting. Use short sentences. Avoid long paragraphs. Instead, let your text extend over a few slides in sequence.

Tip 7: Use the phone’s edit feature to crop your pictures. You phone’s screen and Stories dimensions are most likely 9-by-16, but those aren’t the photo dimensions if you shoot with your phone’s native camera. Crop your images before uploading them so you can select what part of the frame you want centered.

Tip 8: Upload old material by exporting from editing software with new metadata. Saving new files out of editors like Photoshop, iMovie, or Premier will trick Instagram into thinking they were taken the same day. This way you can show old photos or videos, or even build a story over a longer period of time to show a narrative evolution.

Tip 9: Set the scene. Think of how movie sequencing works: It starts with a wide opening shot that helps set the scene, and then moves into medium and detail shots to fill out the story as it get more intimate. One of the most common mistakes in shooting video and photo stories is to use a long sequence of medium shots without depth or detail–don’t make that mistake with your Instagram Stories.

Tip 10: Use editing software to add text over your images. Instagram has a limited number of font styles available, so if you want to get more creative, it’s best to edit your photos on another piece of software. This will take a bit more time and patience than just a quick upload at the end of the day, but it will pay off visually. If you’re good at graphic design, the 9-by-16 layout can be really fun to mess around with.

Tip 11: Place your font wisely. Don’t place anything too high or too low in the frame, because it will get cut off by the logos and decals in Instagram’s playback. Use blank space in the video or images–think sky or ground–to your advantage. Alternatively, shoot blank walls or other textures to create transition slides that help tell your story.

Tip 12: Use your friends, family, and colleagues as presenters (and tag them). It’s rarely just you with an iPhone these days; there are almost always other people engaging in the story. Ask the people around you to talk for a few seconds and describe your shared experience. This will make the story feel more relatable and more of an interaction than a one-way feed. Tagging shows you appreciate your community and friendship, but don’t overdo it all the time.


Cengiz Yar is an American documentary photographer based in northern Iraq who focuses on human displacement, religious and ethnic minorities, and the fight against the Islamic State. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram or view more of his work here.

Facebook Stories are failing, so Instagram is going to help save them

Facebook has apparently found a new approach to giving its Stories feature a much-needed shot in the arm: soon you’ll be able to just double-post your Instagram stories to Facebook directly from the Instagram app. As Mashable reports, some Instagram users are already seeing an option to simultaneously share their image or video story to Facebook just before uploading to Instagram.

In Facebook, they’ll appear in the Stories section as though you’d actually created them there, but you’ll know that those stories actually originated from Instagram because they’re denoted with an “Instagram” label beneath the user’s name.

This whole experiment sounds rather desperate and sad, but it also shows how badly Facebook has so far failed at making Stories a success within the company’s principal app.

If you’re like me, the Stories row at the top of Facebook’s mobile app is probably a barren desert of zero activity. None of my friends and family are using the feature. No one posts anything. It’s just a series of grayed out profile photo circles.


There’s nothing to see here. There never is.

Stories have caught fire across Snapchat and Instagram. I probably post something to my Instagram story at least once a day. But Facebook’s attempt to integrate them into its core app has completely bombed (despite prominent placement) and just isn’t clicking with users. The company has added new features and confirmed that stories are coming to the desktop, but nothing so far has worked.

In that way, turning to Instagram Stories, which are used by 250 million people daily, to fix its own engagement problem shows that Facebook is already hitting a point of despair. Yes, you can already publish content that you post to your main Instagram feed to multiple other social networks, but if Stories had taken off like Facebook really wanted, this fallback probably wouldn’t have been needed. It’s also the most blatant example of Instagram adding a feature expressly for Facebook’s benefit in a long time; from a user-facing perspective, Instagram has done an admirable job keeping a line of separation with its parent company.

This is just a test for now, so it might turn out that Instagram doesn’t roll out the ability to export stories to Facebook for everyone. But the lucrative advertising opportunity that stories present is too good for Facebook to just say “well, maybe people don’t want this feature in every app” and accept failure. The company is going to keep trying and trying until something lights the spark.

Run Windows on macOS with the Parallels Desktop 13, PCs News & Top Stories

Parallels Desktop 13 (PD13) for Mac is the latest version of Parallels’ virtualisation software that lets users run Windows on macOS.

PD13 supports Apple’s latest macOS High Sierra, which should be arriving by next month. It also supports the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

For a start, Parallels has streamlined the Windows installation process. After installing PD13, it will automatically prompt you to install Windows 10. Just one more click and Windows 10, which you can purchase later, will be installed as a virtual machine (VM).

While most people buy PD13 to run Windows, you can also install other operating-system VMs such as Ubuntu Linux, Android or macOS High Sierra beta.

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PD13 is said to offer up to 40 per cent faster USB device performance, as much as 50 per cent faster performance when working with Windows files in Windows VM, and up to 100 per cent faster external Thunderbolt solid-state drive performance.

However, I was not able to test these performance claims, as the previous PD12 was installed on my old 2012 MacBook Air. For this review, I installed PD13 along with a new Windows 10 VM on my 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

For me, the biggest feature of PD13 is the Touch Bar support for the Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: US$79.99 (S$108)

    SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: A Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Intel Core M or Xeon processor, at least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended), at least 850 MB of space available on the boot volume

    SUPPORTED SOFTWARE: macOS High Sierra 10.13 (when available), macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, OS X El Capitan 10.11.5 or later, OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 or later

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

This is how it works: When a Windows 10 VM is launched, PD13 will automatically replicate the Windows Task Bar on the Macbook Pro’s Touch Bar, displaying icons for pinned applications such as Cortana, File Explorer, Task View or Microsoft Edge.

In addition, when you launch Microsoft Edge Web browser, you will see Edge’s Front/Back, Download and Refresh buttons duplicated on the Touch Bar. It is the same for Microsoft Office applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

There is also a Touch Bar customisation tool that lets you change and move icons around, if the pre-defined controls are not to your liking.

The tool is really easy to use, as it is quite similar to what macOS offers. On the Windows VM top menu, go to View and click on Customize Touch Bar. If you are using Microsoft Edge, for instance, you will be presented with the default menu bar and other control icons at the bottom of the display. Just drag-and-drop the control icons you want to the Touch Bar.

This is really the killer feature as you can enjoy the benefits of the Touch Bar with Windows applications by just using PD13.

•Verdict: Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac continues to be the definitive virtualisation software for Mac users to run Windows on the computer – especially so if they are using Touch Bar MacBook Pros. 

This week’s top stories: Apple’s Sept. 12 event is official, case makers update SKUs to ‘iPhone Edition’, new betas, more

In this week’s top stories: Apple officially announces its iPhone 8/Edition event for September 12, major case makers say new premium model will be named iPhone Edition, new details on iPhone wireless charging, two new beta releases, redesigned multitasking for iPhone Edition/8, and more. Read on for a full recap of this week’s news.

AirPods

This week we see Apple officially announce its September 12 iPhone event with invites being sent out. Apple was able to get the Steve Jobs Theater ready in time to hold its 10th anniversary iPhone event at Apple Park. We’re also expecting to see Apple Watch Series 3 and a new 4K/HDR Apple TV.

While most reports until now suggested that the upcoming iPhones would be named iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, and 8, we heard this week that two major case makers have updated their SKUs to iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone Edition. Seth was able to talk with these manufacturers at IFA 2017 and these aren’t minor players; one company’s products are carried at Apple Stores and the other is one of the most popular brands over at 9to5Toys.

More details emerge this week about the wireless charging that will come with the iPhone Edition/8. The most interesting tidbit is that Apple is reported to be using a slower 7.5W Qi standard as opposed to the 15W that the latest 1.2 standards allow. Ben shared why he doesn’t think this will be much of an issue.

This week also brings two betas. Apple released its 8th version on Monday, followed up with the 9th on Thursday, bringing us closer to the GM release. Other news includes details about redesigned multitasking for the iPhone Edition/8 to replace the Home button, and an iPad like Dock to also be present. Not long after this news, we see some fresh renders of the expected multitasking, Dock, and more.

In Apple Watch news we learn specifics about new workouts that might come to the wearable soon, Fitbit releases its first real Apple Watch competitor, and we get a behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s exercise lab.

Head below for all of this week’s top stories.

iPhone | iPad 

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS

AAPL Company | 

HomePod | Apple TV

This week’s top videos |

Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for more videos.

Happy Hour Podcast #135 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss Apple’s upcoming September 12 event, the iPhone 8 and gestures replacing the Home button, 4K movies in iTunes and the next Apple TV, and if we’ll see more from the HomePod at this event.

9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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Samsung heir’s jailing heralds reform drive: Analysts, East Asia News & Top Stories

SEOUL (AFP) – The conviction and jailing of South Korea’s top business tycoon heralds a drive to reform the country’s giant conglomerates and loosen their grip on the economy, analysts said.

When Lee Jae Yong, de facto head of the world’s biggest smartphone maker Samsung Electronics, was jailed Friday (Aug 25) for bribing South Korea’s former president and other offences, the Seoul court condemned “corrupt ties” between business leaders and politicians.

It is far from the the first time these links have been made public. South Korea’s chaebols, or family-run conglomerates, have long enjoyed close, opaque ties to political authorities.

“There is a well-founded concern that Korean corporations have too much financial influence over the political system through favours and friendships,” Robert Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University, told AFP.

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The chaebols were instrumental in the “Miracle on the Han” – South Korea’s rapid transformation from war-ravaged ruin to Asia’s fourth-largest economy – during which they received privileges in business and protection from foreign competition.

Several – including LG and Hyundai as well as Samsung – established global reputations while their hundreds of thousands of employees, often effectively hired for life, became the backbone of South Korea’s new middle class.

But as GDP growth has slowed, public frustration with the chaebols has mounted. They are accused of choking off innovation, distorting markets, and engaging in corrupt practices to ensure founding families retain control.

Many young South Koreans feel that no matter how hard they work, they will never see their positions improve as their parents’ did.

When millions of people took to the streets to demand president Park Geun Hye’s ouster over a burgeoning corruption scandal, their anger was directed almost as much at the companies that paid her secret confidante Choi Soon Sil, as at her.

After Park’s impeachment and dismissal, new president Moon Jae In won a sweeping election victory campaigning on a platform of reform.

‘UNPRECEDENTED JAILING’

Samsung is by far the biggest of the chaebols, with its revenues equivalent to around a fifth of the country’s GDP.

Lee Jae Yong’s father, who remains Samsung chairman, was previously convicted of bribery, tax and other offences himself, and the scion’s grandfather also had brushes with the law, but neither was ever jailed.

Chaebol leaders have regularly enjoyed such privileges in the past, with trials ending in light or suspended sentences and courts citing their contributions to the economy.

But imprisoning the vice-chairman of Samsung for five years – even though the sentence could be reduced on appeal – shows that now no-one is immune, the thinking goes.

Lee was also found guilty of perjury and other offences.

“The unprecedented jailing of the head of the country’s most powerful chaebol will serve as a catalyst for changing the whole society,” said Chung Sun Sup, who runs specialist website chaebul.com.

Kim Joon Woo, of Lawyers for a Democratic Society, said the Seoul Central District Court’s decision was nudging South Korea toward a “more transparent capitalist economy”.

“We welcome it as a warning signal over the dishonourable ties between politicians and businesses,” he said.

Moon plans to loosen the concentration of economic power in the chaebols’ hands, curbing unfair trade practices including cross-subsidies between units and implementing tougher regulations.

His ruling Democratic Party is seeking to limit acquisitions by subsidiaries of the top 10 chaebols, and prohibit new cross-shareholdings between them – a favourite technique of founding families to maintain effective control with only a small ownership stake.

‘NO DEBTS’

There have been promises of reforms before, from both sides of the political aisle, but they came to little.

Former Justice Party lawmaker Park Won Wuk blamed a lack of political will and resistance from the chaebols, which warn of negative consequences for investment and employment.

“No politicians have been really free from collusive ties with chaebols,” said Park. “But Moon, differently from his predecessors, owes no debts to chaebols, and his top officials in charge of chaebol reform are thoroughly reformist.

“Lee’s imprisonment shows they are down to business quite seriously this time.” Corruption remains “the single biggest issue” in South Korea, professor Robert Kelly told AFP.

Corruption watchdog Transparency International, ranked South Korea 52nd out of 176 countries in its perceptions index for last year, well behind neighbours Hong Kong, in 15th place, and Japan in 22nd spot.

“South Korea needs to keep him in jail,” he said of Lee. “That should send a signal to other corporate executives that if you get caught, you will really serve jail time.”

This week’s top stories: iPhone 8 pricing & event info, 4K Apple TV details, new betas, more

In this week’s top stories: The announcement of the iPhone 7s and iPhone 8 inches closer, Apple releases new betas, more whispers about the iPhone 8’s price tag, and much more. Read on for a full recap of this week’s news.

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

A report citing carrier sources this week pegged Apple’s event date for the iPhone 8 as September 12th. This would then mean pre-orders of the device on September 15th and a release on September 22nd. While Apple has not yet sent out invites for the event, we should expect them to come next week should this report reign true. A New York Times report also offered new information on the pricing structure for the iPhone 8.

A video found within the iOS 11 beta this week offered a look at how the multitasking app switcher will be activated on the iPhone 8, whereas a report from KGI said Apple is two years ahead of competitors with its 3D sensing technology. Meanwhile, an Asian report indicated that the iPhone 8’s face recognition system will work in “millionths of a second.”

Apple this week also released new betas for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The new iOS 11 beta brought minor changes such as interface tweaks and more. Jeff went hands-on with the new changes in a video.

Head below for all of this week’s top stories.

iPhone | iPad 

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS

AAPL Company | 

HomePod | Apple TV

Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for more videos.

This week’s top videos |

Happy Hour Podcast #130 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss how Safari in iOS 11 handles AMP links, the rumored iPhone 8 event date and price, a prototype iOS 11 gesture-based app switcher and Control Center, and the 4K Apple TV and live TV app expectations.

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