posted about 10 hours ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased the iCloud.net domain, one of the last major iCloud-related web addresses that wasn't in its possession, reports TechCrunch. The iCloud.net domain, which now appears to be registered to Apple, was the home of the "iCloud Social Network," a dubious-looking social networking platform designed to allow people to share activities, pictures, music, videos, and other content. It's not clear how many users iCloud.net had before Apple purchased the domain, but the site now states that the iCloud.net services will be shut down at the end of February 2017, and data will be destroyed in March. It has apparently existed since 2011, and in a blog post, the site's owner said "iCloud.net finished his mission, it is time for him to retire." MacRumors received a tip suggesting Apple had purchased the domain for $1.5 million, but we have been unable to verify the information. The price Apple paid for iCloud.net is unknown and the company declined to comment on the purchase when contacted by TechCrunch. Back in 2011, ahead of the launch of the iCloud service, Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion, shelling out approximately $5.2 million. Apple also possesses upwards of 100 iCloud domains, ranging from iCloud.us and iCloud.eu to iCloudApps.com and iCloudAds.com. It's not clear why Apple waited more than five years to acquire the iCloud.net domain, and it likely was just done as a measure to make sure the company owned all of the iCloud-related domains, but TechCrunch speculates that the purchase may have been made due to ongoing work on a social networking app that Apple is rumored to have in development. While the rumored app may not use iCloud branding, the existence of an Apple social network could have been confused with an iCloud.net social network, an ambiguity Apple may have wanted to resolve with the purchase of the iCloud.net domain.Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 11 hours ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, the four major carriers in the United States, all offer unlimited data plan options as of last week, allowing customers to forget about traditional data caps. With so many options now available for unlimited data, we thought we'd do an in-depth video comparing the plans offered by the four companies to figure out the best value based on price and coverage. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos Unsurprisingly, Sprint offers the lowest prices, but many people choose not to use Sprint because its LTE coverage is poorer than other carriers. Eliminating Sprint, T-Mobile offers the next best deal, while Verizon comes in third, and AT&T comes in at a distant fourth. For a single individual, Sprint charges $50 for new customers (for a limited time -- it goes up to $60 next year). T-Mobile charges $70, Verizon charges $80, and AT&T charges $100, making it the most expensive unlimited plan of the four carriers for an individual user. Prices even out a bit more with an increasing number of lines. At four lines, Sprint is charging $90 (new customers only -- and it's $160 next year), T-Mobile charges $160, and Verizon and AT&T both charge $180. Not all plans are equal though, especially in AT&T's case. While Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer high-definition video streaming by default, AT&T limits video streaming to 480p unless customers specifically opt out. Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all also offer 10GB of tethering data per line for connecting your Mac or iPad to your phone, but AT&T offers no mobile hotspot functionality with its unlimited plan. T-Mobile offers the same video streaming and hotspot option that Verizon and Sprint do, but its prices are better than Verizon and aren't much more than Sprint, while offering a better network. T-Mobile is also the only network that offers fee-free data plans, so the price listed -- $70 -- is what you pay. T-Mobile doesn't charge activation fees, but other carriers do, which is something to take into account. All networks will "deprioritize" (aka slow down) data after a certain amount of data is used per month. T-Mobile's limit is 28GB, while AT&T's is 22GB, Verizon's is 22GB, and Sprint's is 23GB. When these caps are hit, data speeds are slowed down. On paper, T-Mobile seems to offer the best value for the price, but it's always worth taking a look at coverage maps and getting the opinion of other cellular users in your area before choosing a provider. There are also other benefits to look into, such as coverage abroad -- another area where T-Mobile leads the pack.Tags: Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 15 hours ago on mac rumors
Apple's latest line of notebooks introduced an entirely revamped keyboard featuring flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism, designed to optimize for stability while also maximizing travel. The butterfly mechanism was originally introduced in the ultra thin MacBook, but a newer version was implemented in the MacBook Pro. There have been mixed opinions about the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro due to its vastly different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models, and it appears the new butterfly mechanism may also be less reliable compared to older construction techniques. A growing number of customers who have purchased a 2016 MacBook Pro are running into issues with the keyboard, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. There are dozens of threads both on MacRumors and on the Apple Support site. One of the most significant issues appears to be keys that make different higher-pitched sounds than other keys in some cases, a problem that was caught on video by MacRumors user monstermac77. As is demonstrated, when the caps lock key is pressed, it makes a sound that's much different than the other keys on the keyboard. According to monstermac77, the issue is only reproducible when the Mac is warm, a complaint that has been echoed by several other MacBook owners in the thread, suggesting heat plays a role in activating the problem. Some users are experiencing the overly-clicky sound without heat, though.Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H', and 'C'.The high-pitched clicking sound is irritating, but it isn't as serious as some of the other issues MacBook Pro owners have been having with the keyboard. In some cases, certain keys on the MacBook Pro miss clicks, enter double letters, or refuse to respond at all, a problem that we here at MacRumors have also experienced. MacRumors reader rroch describes the problem:My 2016 15'' MacBook Pro arrived yesterday (as one of the first). 63 of the 64 keys work fine. But the i-key most of the time types the letter twice. I suggest you test out your keyboard thoroughly. With auto-correct it can be easy to think it works. However, my password contains the letter i, and I quickly became super frustrated not being able to get my password right (come to think about it, maybe that's why they added Touch ID, so you don't need the keyboard for passwords). So take a document, turn off auto-correct, and check all the keys. I found that the failure happens more frequently with a slight delay before releasing the key.It's not clear what's causing the issue with the keys that suddenly become non-functional, but the butterfly mechanism is sensitive and can be interrupted by something as simple as a bit of dust. In our case, with the machine we had that was experiencing issues with a specific key, the problem cleared up on its own, but other MacBook owners have not been so lucky. One other minor keyboard complaint is an inconsistent feel across keys, with some keys that feel spongier than others or that don't press down consistently. This seems to be related to a problem with the butterfly mechanism which some users report having fixed with a needle or other thin tool, but most people should not try that sort of repair at home. While many of the complaints seem to be focused on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, some users have also had problems with both the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar and the 13-inch model with no Touch Bar. Customers who are experiencing keyboard problems should visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In most cases, Apple is offering repairs and replacements for affected users, especially those who have verifiable hardware problems related to skipping keys, but some MacRumors readers have needed to go through several replacement machines to find a keyboard that doesn't experience issues. Keyboard replacements are also not a simple matter on a machine as complex as the MacBook Pro, and users should expect repairs or replacements to take multiple days. According to reports from customers who have sought repairs, Apple is outright replacing most Touch Bar models while sending non-Touch Bar models out for repairs.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 15 hours ago on mac rumors
Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that equipped smartphones will be usable on most networks around the world. Overall, Qualcomm appears to remain a step ahead of Intel, but it's a rather moot point for now given that Australian carrier Telstra currently has the only Gigabit LTE network in the world. There are also no Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones, although the first ones are expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress next week. Nevertheless, the broader availability of Gigabit LTE is on the horizon. More smartphones will inevitably support the faster speeds in the future, while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all testing or plan to deploy Gigabit LTE this year in the United States, on the bigger path towards next-generation 5G networking. But even then, it is important to remember these are just theoretical speeds. In the latest OpenSignal testing, based on aggregated data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users, average LTE download speeds at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile ranged between 8 Mbps and 17 Mbps—a far cry from 1 Gbps. Apple could theoretically include the Snapdragon X20 or Intel XMM 7560 in a future iPhone, thereby making it a Gigabit LTE-capable smartphone, but it may elect to wait until more networks are up to speed. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 or Intel's XMM 7360 depending on the model. The X12 has a theoretical peak download speed of up to 600 Mbps, while the XMM 7360 reaches up to 450 Mbps. Qualcomm models were unsurprisingly found to be faster in subsequent testing.Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, LTE Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 17 hours ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second public beta and one day after providing the third iOS 10.3 beta to developers. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 10.3 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on their iOS device. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas are not stable and include many bugs, so they should be installed on a secondary device. As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 introduces a new "Find My AirPods" option to help users locate a lost AirPod. Located in the "Find My Friends" app, the Find My AirPods feature keeps track of the last known location where AirPods were connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, and it allows the AirPods to play a sound to make finding them nearby easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Along with a Find My AirPods feature, the update also includes a shift to Apple File System (APFS). First introduced in 2016, APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and includes strong encryption and other important features. Apple recommends all users make an iCloud backup before installing iOS 10.3, as the update will cause the iPhone's file system to switch over to Apple File System. iOS 10.3 also introduces a tweaked app animation, a new Apple ID profile in the Settings app, a better breakdown on how iCloud storage is being used, SiriKit improvements, new iCloud analytics options, Verizon Wi-Fi calling on iCloud devices, 32-bit app alerts, and more. The third beta introduces an "App Compatibility" section in the Settings app, letting users see if they have outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 19 hours ago on mac rumors
The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch. The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes. Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest. Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron. Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals. Ahead of Apple Watch Series 3 models, Apple is expected to introduce new bands at its rumored iPad Pro-focused event next month.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 20 hours ago on mac rumors
The widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will match the iPhone 7 Plus with 3GB of RAM and come in two storage options, 64GB and 256GB, according to Chinese research firm TrendForce. The report, which outlines several already-rumored features, said the so-called "iPhone 8" will not have a fully curved display due to production and drop test issues with 3D glass. Instead, the high-end device will adopt the same slightly curved 2.5D cover glass used since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. TrendForce said Apple will remove the Home button on the iPhone, as widely rumored, and integrate the related functions into the display. If that fact is accurate, it suggests rumored 3D facial recognition capabilities could supplement rather than fully replace Touch ID, which could be embedded into the display. TrendForce itself expects the "iPhone 8" to incorporate 3D sensing technology that can be used for facial recognition and augmented reality features. The research note said the 5.8-inch iPhone will be accompanied by updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with LCD displays. The 5.5-inch model will allegedly have the same 3GB of RAM as the iPhone 7 Plus, while the 4.7-inch model is said to have 2GB of RAM. Both models are expected to include up to 256GB of storage. Rumors are generally shaping up to suggest the 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will be a significant upgrade, but the model could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States. Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models are expected to be iterative but less expensive upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Last year, TrendForce accurately predicted the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be available in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage capacities.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: TrendForce Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 22 hours ago on mac rumors
The upcoming OLED model of the 2017 iPhone 8 will gain a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system that consists of three modules and have fully-featured 3D sensing capabilities, according to new predictions shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The upgraded camera system will be fueled by PrimeSense algorithms, which Apple acquired in 2013. The three modules include an existing front camera module of current iPhone models, an infrared transmitting module, and an infrared receiving module. Using these advancements, the camera will be able to find the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, "with potential applications including facial and iris recognition." The camera will function by merging the depth information captured by the IR transmitting and receiving modules with the traditional 2D images captured by the front camera. This not only could be used for the iPhone 8's long-rumored iris recognition feature, but even in some gaming applications -- and future AR/VR experiences -- where users could place their own 3D-scanned face in the game using a quick selfie.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Apple has claimed that the European Commission made "fundamental errors" when it ruled last year that the company owed Ireland 13 billion euros ($13.7 billion) in unpaid taxes plus interest. Apple appealed the commission's decision in December, but on Monday the company published a piece in the Official Journal of the European Union detailing 14 pleas in law to support its action, according to The Irish Times. The European Commission argues that Irish revenue commissioners gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland. Apple and the Irish government, which has also appealed the commission's decision, argue that the bulk of those profits are due in the U.S. "The Commission made fundamental errors by failing to recognize that the applicants' profit-driving activities, in particular the development and commercialization of the intellectual property (Apple IP), were controlled and managed in the United States," Apple said, according to the Official Journal. "The profits from those activities are attributable to the United States, not Ireland."Apple maintained that the commission had "failed to recognize that the Irish branches carried out only routine functions and were not involved in the development and commercialization of Apple IP, which drove profits". Cupertino also said that the commission failed to conduct a diligent and impartial investigation, and "exceeded its competence" as it relates to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, by "attempting to redesign Ireland's corporate tax system". Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the EC's ruling "total political crap" and described the lower end 0.005% tax rate Apple is accused of paying as a "false number". The Apple CEO believes that the decision will be reversed. Appeals by Apple and the Irish government have been made to the European Union's General Court, where proceedings may take up to two years to complete, after which the case is likely to go all the way to the European Court of Justice. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: corporate tax, European Commission, Europe, Ireland Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
As part of its ongoing "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign highlighting the iPhone's camera, Apple today uploaded four videos that belong to its new "One Night" series. Each of the 15 second ads features a compilation of photos and videos captured on a single night in New York, Johannesburg, Shanghai, and Tokyo and set to music. Designed to showcase the low-light capabilities of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, all of the photos and videos in the One Night campaign were taken on November 5, 2016 in different places around the world. Last week, Apple uploaded a one minute compilation video featuring much of the same footage, but today's videos show more of the individual photos and videos taken in each different location. Though only four locations are shown in the videos uploaded today, the One Night ad campaign features images and videos taken by 16 photographers across 15 cities on six continents. Apple is also using the photographs as part of a "One Night" print and billboard campaign that's being showcased in 25 countries around the world. Update: Apple has also uploaded two new videos that are part of a separate ad campaign showcasing Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 Plus. Each video offers a short tutorial on the benefits of Portrait Mode, showing how it's able to blur the background to put the focus on the person in the photograph. Tag: Apple ads Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta and just under a month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.3. The third macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who have previously installed a beta. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. First introduced on iOS devices with iOS 9.3, Night Shift is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is said to disrupt the circadian rhythm and is believed to interrupt sleeping patterns. Night Shift can be activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually through the Notification Center or via Siri. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The 10.12.4 update focuses mainly on Night Shift, but also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second beta of iOS 10.3 and more than a two months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the third iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing several new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest new consumer-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts (said to be included in beta 2). Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, improvements to SiriKit, and more. For a full rundown of the changes introduced in the first beta, make sure to check out our dedicated "What's New" post. What's new in iOS 10.3 beta 3: App Compatibility - In the Settings app, there's a new "App Compatibility" section that lists apps that may not work with a future version of iOS. Tapping on one of the apps opens it up in the App Store so you can see when it was last updated. As has been discovered in previous betas, opening one of these apps on your iOS device pops up a warning with a similar non-compatible statement. App Compatibility can be accessed by opening the Settings app and choosing General --> About. From there, scroll down to "Applications" and tap it. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will host a March event to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup and other products, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. In terms of the new iPad Pro lineup, the report claims Apple will announce new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models. If the report is accurate, it would suggest Apple plans to refresh the iPad mini 4 with a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro model, update its existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and introduce an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is widely rumored to feature an edge-to-edge display without a Home button. Mac Otakara previously said the 10.9-inch iPad Pro—it now says 10.5-inch—will have the same overall footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro thanks to its edge-to-edge design. The earlier report said the top bezel will remain in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera, but it will likely be slimmer. The blog also previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment. Three months ago, Barclays analysts predicted Apple will release a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including 9.7-inch, 12.9-inch, and edge-to-edge 10.9-inch models, but not a 7.9-inch iPad Pro. Instead, their research note said Apple will continue to produce and sell the iPad mini 4, released in September 2015. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has likewise said Apple is planning a new 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro lineup for 2017. He said the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models are likely to feature a faster Apple A10X processor, while the "low-cost" 9.7-inch model will be powered by an Apple A9X chip. The report also claims Apple may add a 128GB storage option for the iPhone SE, alongside the smartphone's existing 16GB and 64GB capacities, and add a new red color option for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Mac Otakara previously said the red color would be for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. The report also calls for new Apple Watch bands at the event just like last Spring. It adds that the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro model may not begin shipping until May.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone SE Tag: macotakara.jp Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is the fifth most reputable major company active in the U.S. according to an annual poll that gauges public perception of 100 consumer brands (via The Korea Herald). The Reputation Quotient Ratings from the 2017 Harris Poll are based on an online survey completed by over 30,000 adults in the U.S. The survey analyzes brand reputation across six gauges: social responsibility, vision and leadership, financial performance, products and services, workplace environment, and emotional appeal. The Reputation Quotient Ratings saw Apple fall three places from the previous year, losing ground to Wegmans, Publix Super Markets, and Johnson & Johnson. Amazon meanwhile maintained its 2016 position at the top of the table, but the effects of the exploding Note7 phone debacle saw Samsung slump to 49th after last year ranking at seventh. Other companies in the top ten include Google, which slipped from fifth in 2016 to eighth, and Tesla Motors, which was not included in last year’s rankings. Netflix and Microsoft both ranked in the top 20 (18th and 20th, respectively), with Facebook sitting at 66th. According to Harris Polls, the biggest risks to a company's reputation are illegal actions by corporate leaders and lies about products or services. The poll was carried out between November 28 and December 16 of last year, so just before Consumer Reports denied Apple's new MacBook Pro line-up a buyer recommendation, based on perceived battery life issues. Consumer Reports later revisited the issues with Apple's input, and ultimately decided to award the laptops a recommendation in January. Samsung meanwhile will be eager to resuscitate its brand in 2017 after some of its Galaxy Note7 phones caught fire, leading to the discontinuation of the model in October. However, the company had a setback last week when Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong was arrested over his alleged role in an influence-peddling scandal that has led to the South Korean president's impeachment.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
A number of Mac apps failed to launch for users over the weekend because of a change to the way Apple certifies apps that have not been bought directly from the Mac App Store. Several users of apps including Soulver and PDFPen who had downloaded the apps from the developers' websites all reported immediate crashes on launch. Developers of the apps quickly apologized and said that the issue was down to the apps' code signing certificates reaching their expiration date. Apple issues developer signing certificates to assure users that an app they have downloaded outside of the Mac App Store is legitimate, comes from a known source, and hasn't been modified since it was last signed. In the past, the expiration of a code signing certificate had no effect on already shipped software, but that changed since the release of Sierra last year, when Apple began requiring apps to carry something called a provisioning profile. A provisioning profile tells macOS that the app has been checked by Apple against an online database and is allowed to perform certain system actions or "entitlements". However, the profile is also signed using the developer's code signing certificate, and when the certificate expires, the provisioning profile becomes invalid. Victims of expired provisioning profiles over the weekend included users of 1Password for Mac who had bought the app from the developer's website. AgileBits explained on Sunday that affected users would need to manually update to the latest version (6.5.5), noting that those who downloaded 1Password from the Mac App Store were unaffected. The developers' surprise was explained in a blog post: We knew our developer certificate was going to expire on Saturday, but thought nothing of it because we believed those were only necessary when publishing a new version. Apparently that's not the case. In reality it had the unexpected side effect of causing macOS to refuse to launch 1Password properly.Currently, the common factor among affected apps appears to be those that were issued iCloud entitlements as part of their provisioning profile. Smile, developers of PDFpen and PDFpenPro, told TidBits that users would need to manually download the latest updates to the apps to fix the problem. Acqualia, developers of number-crunching app Soulver, also apologized for the problem and asked affected users to download an update to fix the issue. As the above suggests, the immediate solution is for developers of potentially affected apps to renew their code signing certificates before they expire. AgileBits said the incident had given them "a new understanding of the importance of expiring provisioning profiles and certificates" and would be renewing its current certificate, due to expire in 2022, "far before then".Tag: Mac App Store Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has bought Israeli startup RealFace, a cybersecurity and machine learning firm specializing in facial recognition technology. The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that the Tel Aviv-based company, founded in 2014, was snapped up by Apple for an estimated $2 million, while Hebrew-language Calcalist said the deal was worth "several million dollars". RealFace's website is currently offline, but according to promotional material, the startup had developed a unique facial recognition technology that integrates artificial intelligence and "brings back human perception to digital processes". RealFace's software is said to use proprietary IP in the field of "frictionless face recognition" that allows for rapid learning from facial features. The Israeli startup also developed a now-defunct app called Pickeez, which selected and collated a user's best photos across various platforms using the RealFace recognition software. Demo of RealFace's face recognition software. According to iPhone 8 rumors, Apple may ditch Touch ID along with the physical home button, in favor of a facial recognition-capable front-facing 3D laser scanner, although with the RealFace acquisition coming at such a late time, it's unlikely that the any of the startup's technology will feature. RealFace is the fourth Israel-based firm Apple is known to have acquired. In 2011 it bought flash memory maker Anobit for a reported $400 million, then in November 2013 it acquired 3D sensor company PrimeSense for an estimated $345 million. Most recently in 2015, Apple bought LinX for around $20 million.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has fallen to fifth place in China's booming smartphone market, where combined smartphone sales reached 131.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipments. The Q4 figure confirmed the highest ever annual amount of units sold in China, according to market research firm Canalys, with shipments for the year reaching 476.5 million units, rising 11.4 percent from 2015 levels. Huawei shipments of 76.2 million units took the top spot in China's smartphone market in 2016, followed by Oppo with 73.2 million units and Vivo with 63.2 million. Apple meanwhile shipped 43.8 million units, down 18.2 percent year on year, leading to a 7 percent decline in global shipments compared to 2015. Apple also lost fourth place to Xiaomi, despite the Chinese maker also experiencing declines in the country. Xiaomi became number four in the China smartphone market, while Apple fell to fifth place. Xiaomi shipped a total of 51.4 million units of smartphones with a 21 percent year-on-year decline, while its market share decreased from 15.2 percent in 2015 to 10.7 percent in 2016, the lowest since 2013. Apple shipped 43.8 million units of iPhones throughout the year, a year-on-year decrease of 18.2 percentHuawei's success in China continued apace on the strength of its flagship products, said Canalys' research analyst Jessie Ding. "While Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi are all in the process of adjusting their strategies in China, Huawei took the opportunity to consolidate its position in the tier-1 and -2 cities," according to Ding. The lull also allowed Huawei to attack Oppo and Vivo's backyard, "in tier-three and tier-four cities," Ding noted. Last year Apple experienced its first ever year-over-year decline in the Chinese smartphone market, with the company's phones continuing to be outpaced by cheaper alternatives and the iPhone 7 failing to kick up a frenzy among consumers compared to previous launches, according to analysts. Apple faced a similar story at the beginning of the current year. Despite recording record results, Apple's Q1 2017 earnings call revealed revenue was down 8 percent in China, but CEO Tim Cook claimed half of that decline was down to currency devaluation. Cook said that while China was "not without challenges", he remained "encouraged by improvements" going into the second quarter. Research firm IDC has suggested that Apple's decline in China was compounded loyal users taking a year off upgrading in 2016 in anticipation of 2017's "iPhone 8". If so, Apple's success there depends on whether the upcoming phone can live up to the hype. "China and Hong Kong are still the hardest-hit areas in Apple's global top ten market," according to Ding. "The outlook remains bleak for Apple to get its China performance back to its heyday of 2015. As with consumers in other developed markets, China's consumers are awaiting the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with very high expectations." (Via DigiTimes.)Tag: China Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
A future version of the iPhone could use a customized wireless charging system created in partnership with Broadcom, according to JPMorgan analyst Harlan Sur (via CNBC). While Apple and Broadcom have reportedly been working together on a wireless charging solution for approximately two years, Sur is not sure whether the feature will be included in the 2017 iPhone due to "caution around the battery-related recall" of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Despite Harlan's caution, the upcoming 2017 "iPhone 8" is widely rumored to include some kind of wireless charging solution, but details on how it is being implemented and whether or not Apple is working with a partner like Broadcom remain unknown at this time. iPhone 8 concept image via Thadeu Brandão Past rumors have suggested wireless charging partnerships and supplier deals with Lite-On Semiconductor, MediaTek, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Luxshare, making it difficult to suss out Apple's wireless charging plans. Harlan's research note also echoes previous rumors pointing towards a glass body for future iPhones, which many analysts believe is being implemented to facilitate wireless charging."We believe the glass back cover is conducive to wireless charging as it reduces signal interference versus a metal casing," Sur wrote. "It is possible for Apple to add proprietary features such as fast charging or extended charging to differentiate itself from the pack and enhance the value of its own hardware ecosystem."Early wireless charging rumors suggested Apple would use a long-range wireless charging solution, but more recent speculation suggests the company may instead opt for an Apple Watch-style inductive charging solution. A glass body, as is rumored, would be necessary for an inductive charging option, and Apple also recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, a group committed to the open development of the Qi wireless charging standard used in devices like the Samsung Galaxy. Along with wireless charging, Apple's 2017 iPhone is rumored to include a radical redesign, featuring the aforementioned glass body and an edge-to-edge ~5-inch OLED display that eliminates the device's Home button. Rumors suggest this device will be positioned as a high-end "premium" model that could cost upwards of $1,000, and most sources believe it will be sold alongside two more affordable 4.7 and 5.5-inch devices that resemble the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Rumors disagree on exactly what material the two regular-sized devices will be made from, and whether or not they will include wireless charging as well. For full details on what to expect from the flagship OLED iPhone 8 and its two companion devices, make sure to check out our dedicated iPhone 8 roundup, which is updated regularly with new rumors.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Broadcom, JPMorgan Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Sprint parent company SoftBank is prepared to sell Sprint to T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom, reviving a potential merger between the two companies, reports Reuters. According to unnamed sources that spoke to the site, SoftBank is reportedly frustrated with Sprint's growth in the United States and is ready to surrender control of the company and take a minority stake in T-Mobile. Back in 2013, before T-Mobile soared in popularity, the situation was reversed. Sprint was prepared to purchase T-Mobile in a deal said to be worth more than $20 billion, but Sprint abandoned its plans in 2014 amid regulatory scrutiny, deciding that it would be too difficult to win approval from regulators. At the time, U.S. antitrust officials reportedly told Sprint that having four national carriers in the United States was important to maintaining a competitive market. AT&T also once attempted to purchase T-Mobile, but that deal fell through too after being blocked by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. Given T-Mobile's recent success, Deutsche Telekom is no longer interested in selling the company, leaving SoftBank to pursue another merger strategy. Sprint and T-Mobile will likely face the same regulatory scrutiny if a potential purchase deal is reached between the two.Investors have said a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, ranked third and fourth respectively, would still face antitrust challenges, but made strategic sense as the industry moves to fifth-generation wireless technology. Carriers will need to spend billions of dollars to upgrade to 5G networks that promise to be 10 times to 100 times faster than current speeds. While SoftBank is still open to discussing other options, it is now willing to surrender control of Sprint and retain a minority stake in a merger with T-Mobile, the sources said. They asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.The two companies have not yet started to discuss a deal because of strict anti-collusion rules that are in place during an ongoing spectrum auction. The auction, which is being overseen by the FCC, ends on March 30, and negotiations are expected to begin at that time.Tags: Sprint, T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared four new iPad Pro ads on its YouTube channel, which are focused on highlighting the features of the tablet and pointing out its benefits over a computer. Each of the four ads is 16 seconds in length and starts out with a tweet a user has shared, either about the iPad Pro itself or a situation where an iPad Pro would be useful. The first video opens with a person holding up a printed tweet that reads "An iPad Pro is not even close to being a computer." Apple's voiceover explains the benefits of the iPad Pro, pointing out LTE, the touchscreen that supports the Apple Pencil, and its speed. Well, iPad Pro isn't a computer. It's actually faster than most laptops, has LTE like your phone, and a touchscreen you can write on. So you're kind of right.The second video also focuses on the iPad Pro's LTE functionality, allowing users to get cellular service anywhere, while the third video points out that Microsoft Word is available on the device. Apple's final video focuses on viruses, starting out with the tweet "My laptop has the nastiest virus and I'm terrified" and going on to explain that the iPad Pro doesn't get viruses. Yeah, that is scary. You know an iPad Pro doesn't get PC viruses. So relax. There's nothing to be afraid of. EXCEPT GHOSTS!All four of the videos use real tweets from real people, but Apple uses actors in the videos to hold up the signs and do the voiceovers. This is a new iPad Pro ad campaign for Apple, but it is similar to past iPad Pro ads the company has shared, which have also highlighted features like the touchscreen, Apple Pencil, multitasking, Smart Keyboard, and more. Today's ads come as Apple is rumored to be preparing to launch an updated iPad Pro. Rumors suggest the device will have an upgraded processor and a new design with an edge-to-edge display. The refreshed tablet is rumored to be coming as soon as March, but it's not yet quite clear exactly when we'll see it.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Long before Apple takes the wraps off a new iPhone, the smartphone goes through months of design work, testing, and production between Apple's headquarters in Cupertino and its manufacturing partners in China. It is during this time that iPhone parts usually begin to leak, despite Apple's best efforts to double down on secrecy. Nevertheless, noted leaker Sonny Dickson has provided MacRumors with a closer look at a few known measures the company takes to hide iPhone prototypes and prevent potential leaks. Foremost, Dickson said an iPhone prototype travels across the world in a "stealth" case designed to prevent onlookers from seeing how it looks. The case conceals most of the iPhone, while it has yellow "security" tape along the sides that would show any tampering by somebody trying to get it open. The prototype is accompanied by a "passport" at all times for quality assurance/control testing, according to Dickson. "Each component or product that is tested they document in the page," said Dickson. "The person writes their initials next to it and any notes about it passing or failing or any other comments. It makes its way through each test/person. It then is finally sent with its 'passport' from China to Apple." As known, the prototype itself, such as the iPhone 6 Plus pictured below, is engraved with a QR code for Apple to keep track of the product. As mentioned, these efforts have not entirely prevented iPhone prototypes from leaking. A mostly accurate picture of the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera leaked in March 2016, six months before Apple unveiled the device, while an Apple engineer infamously left a disguised iPhone 4 at a bar near Cupertino in 2010. Apple will reportedly begin production of a trio of new iPhones, including a 5.8-inch model with an edge-to-edge OLED display, as early as next quarter, so part leaks should begin to surface around that time if history repeats itself. Read our iPhone 8 roundup to keep track of the latest rumors in the meantime.Tag: Sonny Dickson Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung chief Jay Y Lee has been arrested over his alleged role in an influence-peddling scandal that reaches to the highest levels of the South Korean government, it was reported on Friday. Reuters said the 48-year-old vice-chairman and heir-apparent of Samsung was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Center on Friday morning, after waiting there overnight for the decision. Image via Reuters South Korea's special prosecutor's office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of President Park Geun-hye – who is currently facing impeachment over the scandal – in order to win favors related to leadership succession at Samsung Group. Lee now faces charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas, and perjury. Both Geun-hye and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case. Prosecutors have up to 10 days to indict Lee, but they can seek an extension. After indictment, a court must then make its first ruling within three months. Currently there's no word on whether lawyers representing Lee will contest the arrest or seek bail. Shares in Samsung ended Friday down 0.42 percent, in line with a flat wider market. Ratings agencies say they don't expect any impact on the company's credit ratings, claiming Lee's arrest will accelerate improvements in corporate transparency and governance. Meanwhile, Lee's arrest is not expected to hamper day-to-day operations at Samsung's divisions, which are run by professional managers. That said, the conglomerate is currently going through a restructuring to clear a succession path for Lee to assume control after his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, suggesting strategic decision-making on the issue could be affected. Lee's detention comes as Samsung tries to resuscitate its Galaxy brand following last year's Note7 debacle, in which the handsets were prone to setting on fire whilst charging. The company is hoping that its Galaxy S8, expected to launch in April, will bring the brand back on course in a crucial year when Apple is expected to announce a "tenth anniversary" iPhone 8, for which Samsung will also provide 160 million OLED display panels. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Following in the footsteps of T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T today announced plans to debut a new unlimited data plan that's available to all of its postpaid customers. The unlimited plan will be available starting tomorrow. AT&T previously offered an unlimited data plan, but it was limited to customers who were also DirecTV or U-Verse customers. According to AT&T, the new plan will provide unlimited talk, text, and data on four lines for $180, which is more expensive than T-Mobile's ONE data plan for four customers and on par with Verizon's pricing, also at $180 for four lines. A single line is priced at $100. AT&T is including unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico and unlimited texts to more than 120 countries around the world. Customers are also able to talk, text, and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges."We're offering unlimited entertainment on the nation's best data network where and when you want to enjoy more of what you love," said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer of the AT&T Entertainment Group.AT&T's $180 price point is after a $40 credit for the fourth smartphone line, which will start after two billing periods. Prior to then, customers will need to pay $220 per month for the plan. The company's fine print says that AT&T "may slow speeds" during periods of network congestion for customers who consume more than 22GB of data, which is not a surprise as T-Mobile and Verizon's plans contain similar caveats. The unlimited plan also includes the Stream Saver feature, which downgrades video to 480p. Stream Saver is enabled by default, but can be turned off online. With AT&T now offering an unlimited plan for all of its customers, all of the major carriers in the United States have unlimited data plans available, which is impressive because for the last several years, carriers like AT&T and Verizon have been heavily focused on eliminating their unlimited customers. Sprint and T-Mobile have offered unlimited data plans since August, and T-Mobile's growing popularity and regular feature additions at an affordable price appears to have inspired AT&T and Verizon to re-adopt unlimited plans. Verizon announced its unlimited plan earlier this week with inclusions like 10GB of tethering data and HD video streaming, spurring T-Mobile to implement similar changes. With T-Mobile's new tethering offerings and higher-quality video streaming, it continues to offer the best value at $70 per month for a single subscriber (Verizon's plan is $80). Sprint's plan is priced at $55 per month, but its coverage can't compete with T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, and AT&T's plan is the most expensive of the four at $100 for a single line. Tag: AT&T Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely expected 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will feature a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition, corroborating previous rumors, according to JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall. Hall said the scanner will replace Touch ID on the so-called iPhone 8, as Apple plans to remove the Home button to allow for the edge-to-edge display. His research note claims the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus could also have a 3D laser scanner based on increased volume of the module within Apple's supply chain. The scanner is said to add $10 to $15 per module to the iPhone 8's bill of materials, which coupled with the OLED display, glass casing, and other increased production costs, could make its retail price up to $100 more expensive than it would be without those features, if Apple looks to maintain a similar profit margin. The increased costs are in line with a recent report claiming the iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States. Hall believes the switch to facial recognition will help alleviate consumer frustration when Touch ID does not work under wet conditions. He added that facial recognition will potentially be more secure than Touch ID, which could increase Apple Pay adoption among banks and merchants. The research note said the 3D laser scanner could eventually be used for other purposes, such as augmented reality, but likely not until 2018 at the earliest.One obvious and potentially most compelling use would be AR/VR experiences in which the user’s hands and other real world objects are being scanned and integrated into a field of view provided by the iPhone mounted into a Google Daydream-like headset. This would open up many interesting entertainment and gaming experiences not available today and might give Apple something extra in an AR/VR accessory compared to Google and others.He also believes that Apple is likely to eventually open up a 3D scanning API to developers, who could use it to do "everything from determining your shoe size for online orders to helping make sure you are properly fitted on your bike." Hall expects a strong iPhone 8 replacement cycle later this year, and he said an announcement about the product is possible as early as WWDC 2017, which kicks off June 5. Apple has not made any iPhone hardware announcements at WWDC since 2010, so treat this claim with a proverbial grain of salt for now.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: JPMorgan Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared two new videos on its YouTube channel, again designed to promote the Portrait Mode feature that's unique to the dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus. Both videos are 15 seconds in length and show the Portrait Mode in action, with an explanation on how it blurs out the background for better portrait shots of people. Portrait Mode, introduced in iOS 10.1, uses a shallow depth-of-field effect to make portrait photos "pop," mimicking the results that can normally only be obtained with a high-end DSLR and a telephoto lens. Portrait Mode uses the 56mm lens included in the iPhone 7 Plus, with Apple's image signal processor working to scan a scene to recognize people and other objects to separate the foreground from the background for the blurring effect. Today's ads follow two similar ads that were released earlier this week, also designed to show off Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Apple ads Discuss this article in our forums

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