The week in iPhone news was exciting for Apple fans looking forward to future devices and firmware. A surprise release of iOS 9.3 beta to developers revealed significant feature improvements in the pipeline. Details on the upcoming 4-inch iPhone slated for release early this year also surfaced, along with a new moniker for the device. Changes are also on the way to iTunes Radio and the iAd platform. Here are five highlights from the top Apple news of the week:
Reports point to Apple ditching the standard 3.5mm headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 7 this fall. Audio would instead be delivered via Lightning connector, leaving additional room for a more powerful battery or to slim down the profile. In development: a new set of wireless Beats earbuds that would automatically charge while being stored in a special battery case.desktop software package f.lux.
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On January 28th, ad-supported iTunes Radio stations will be unavailable for free. Apple will include these stations as a new commercial-free feature in Apple Music, bringing them into the $9.99 per month subscription package. This will leave Beats 1 as the only free, streaming radio product on the airwaves from Apple.
Another Apple project will see big changes, with the iAd platform being turned over to publishers. iAd Workbench has been updated to offer increased automation, and Apple plans to discontinue the iAd App Network on June 30, 2016. These changes will take iAd sales out of Apple's hands, with publishers directly selling advertising content and retaining 100 percent of the revenue.
Last but not least, the rumored 4-inch iPhone update which is expected in the first half of 2016 may introduce a new name. While reports have previously tagged the smallest iPhone in the lineup as the iPhone 6c, new information points to an iPhone 5e coming soon. The iPhone 5e would stand for "enhanced", representing an enhanced iPhone 5s and featuring the same A8 processor as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The next generation iPhone 7 would then launch in September.