posted about 19 hours ago on mac rumors
Another alleged iPhone 8 schematic is making the rounds today, shared on Twitter by several "leakers" who often share alleged leaked device images sourced from Weibo and unnamed tipsters. KK Leaks, OnLeaks, and Benjamin Geskin have all tweeted the image, which comes from an unknown source. It is not clear if the schematic is legitimate, and we're at the point in the rumor cycle where it's difficult to separate what's real from what's fake, so it's best to view all current leaks with some skepticism. This is a tipped leak what means I can't confirm if legit or not but there you have it... #iPhone8 pic.twitter.com/6OgASNUDNb— OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) April 26, 2017 The schematic appears to depict the rear shell of the OLED iPhone 8, and it matches many previously-leaked design schematics and rumors. The device pictured features a vertical dual-lens rear camera with an LED flash in the middle, and it includes a large circular area, perhaps for some kind of wireless charging functionality. No rear Touch ID button is included in the schematic. Over the course of the last few weeks, we've seen several alleged design schematics and renderings that are said to represent the iPhone 8, but because Apple is said to be testing multiple prototypes, we appear to be seeing two distinct devices, and it's not clear which one represents Apple's final 2017 iPhone. One device, which seems to be similar to the device in the schematic above, features an edge-to-edge display with a small 4mm bezel, what appears to be a glass body (perhaps with a stainless steel frame), and a Touch ID Home button that appears to be embedded in the display, while the other features an edge-to-edge display with slightly wider top and bottom bezels, an aluminum body, and a Touch ID Home button located on the rear of the device. Both are said to be representative of different designs Apple has pursued, and Apple is reportedly experimenting with a rear Touch ID button due to difficulties implementing it under the display. It's not yet known if a Touch ID button under the display will pan out. While we're seeing different designs at the current time, there are several rumors that are consistent. The OLED iPhone is said to be similar in size to the 4.7-inch iPhone but with a display closer in size to that of the 5.5-inch iPhone, and almost all current rumors point towards a vertical dual-lens camera for improved images and perhaps some kind of augmented reality or 3D functionality. Not much has been said about wireless charging recently, but Apple is supposedly implementing some kind of inductive charging solution, and we can count on an improved A11 processor in the device. Apple plans to sell the OLED iPhone alongside two standard iPhones with LCD displays, which are said to be similar in size to the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. With many of the rumors focusing on the flagship OLED iPhone, not much is known about the other two iPhones and their specific design also remains unclear. Recent rumors are suggesting the OLED iPhone may be severely constrained when it launches in September, so it could be difficult to get for several months. That's a common rumor that we hear every year ahead of the debut of a new iPhone, but the rumors, coming from trusted sources, are especially emphatic and dire this year, suggesting there's some truth there.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Apple product designer and Siri co-founder Tom Gruber gave a TED Talk today, where he covered his vision of the future of computers and artificial intelligence. Both Axios and Business Insider shared details on his talk. According to Gruber, computers should be used to augment human failings, like memory. He believes computers should log every aspect of our lives, allowing us to remember every person we've met and every aspect about them, like favorite sports, family members, and name pronunciation."I believe AI will make personal memory enhancement a reality. I think it's inevitable," he said onstage, adding that he doesn't know when or how it will happen. [...] Gruber imagines that this kind of technology will not only be useful for satisfying data geeks who want to optimize their health and happiness, but it could also assist those who suffer from diseases like dementia and schizophrenia. "It's the difference between a life of isolation and one of dignity and connection," he said.Privacy, is of course, a key part of artificial intelligence and future computing capabilities. "We get to choose what is and is not recalled," said Gruber. "It's absolutely essential that this be kept very secure." Apple has already taken the first steps towards linking artificial intelligence and memory, with its Photos app. Photos on Mac and iOS devices includes a "Memories" feature that intelligently organizes photos into dynamic events that can be relived through the app. It also incorporates facial recognition and deep levels of privacy - facial recognition features are not cross-device and do not sync over iCloud. Gruber also highlighted other useful applications for artificial intelligence, like cancer detection and more advanced personal assistants like Siri.Tags: Siri, artificial intelligence Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that it will be expanding its "Today at Apple" educational sessions to all of its 495 retail stores around the world in May. "Today at Apple" will offer programs with more than 60 different hands-on sessions in creative skills. The free sessions, which have been offered at Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco since last year, will cover topics such as photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design.“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”Many sessions will be taught by highly-trained Creative Pros, which Apple describes as the "liberal arts equivalent" to its technical Geniuses. In select cities, Apple says world-class artists, photographers, and musicians will also teach sessions from "basics and how-to lessons" to "professional-level programs." "Today at Apple" will cater to all skill levels and ages, with special programs such as Teacher Tuesday and Kids Hour targeted towards families and educators respectively. Other sessions will focus on professional software such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, or coding with the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.Teachers can come together for Teacher Tuesday to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, or aspiring coders of all ages can learn how to code in Swift, Apple’s programming language for iOS and Mac apps. Families can join weekend Kids Hour sessions ranging from music making to coding with robots.Apple said each of its stores will receive large displays created specifically for "Today at Apple" sessions. Each store will also have updated seating and sound. Apple has already renovated dozens of its existing retail stores with these next-generation features since 2015, with dozens more locations to follow this year. Apple has been redesigning its stores under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of luxury fashion brand Burberry. Ahrendts wants to position Apple Stores as not only shopping destinations, but also as gathering places for the community. "Meet me at Apple," she envisions someone as saying. Video is available in the United States only Ahrendts, in a new interview with CBS This Morning:“A lot of the big online guys have said they’re opening stores. Amazon’s investing in stores. Google’s investing in stores. ... Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks,”’ Ahrendts said. “And you know, I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, “Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?”’”Apple's latest next-generation store will open at Dubai Mall on April 27, the company recently announced.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Tags: Angela Ahrendts, Today at Apple Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
A Chinese tech blog bucked the iPhone rumor trend today by claiming it had received insider information from the Apple supply chain that Apple will release two iPhone models this year rather than the expected three. Micgadget.com posted the rumor in the early hours of Tuesday, citing "some [of] our friends from Foxconn" who apparently "confirmed" that Hon Hai had received an order for two models, corresponding to two versions of Apple's radically redesigned OLED iPhone, the so-called "iPhone 8". "iPhone 8" rendering from KK Sneak Leaks Rumors say that Apple will release two iPhone 7S and one iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition) models. Today we can tell you, that it's not true. This fall we can see only two models with new technology. Very interesting that rumors leaked new iPhone 8 and big iPhone 8 Plus will have similar dual cameras.It's highly unusual for a supply chain rumor to go against the prevailing assumption this late into the iPhone cycle, and Micgadget.com has a mixed history of releasing information on Apple's plans. The site has also been pushing the idea that Apple will release an additional "iPhone 8 Plus" since at least February with little evidence to back up the claim, so we're covering this rumor merely to highlight our current doubts regarding its veracity. For some time now, analyst expectations and supply chain hints have indicated that Apple will break away from its annual tradition of launching two models of iPhone and will instead reveal a radically overhauled smartphone in addition to its usual "S" refresh model updates. The rumor trail began all the way back in March of 2016, when noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out his expectations that Apple would launch 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones alongside a standout "premium" OLED model, because of supply constraints on AMOLED technology. Multiple reports have since corroborated this scenario, with Apple said to be aiming for a more complete transition to Samsung-made OLED displays in 2018 when supplies become more available. Indeed, it's possible Micgadget.com is misinterpreting information from its purported Foxconn source for precisely this reason. Multiple reports suggest Apple will debut its redesigned OLED iPhone in September, but it could still face severe supply shortages until perhaps as late as October or November. Therefore, while orders for Apple's two LCD-based iPhones may have been cemented in good time for the usual August-September ramp-up in production, orders for an "iPhone 8" at the supply chain level may have still not been pegged down. Apart from an edge-to-edge OLED display in a typical-sized 4.7-inch casing, the "iPhone 8" is expected to include wireless charging, no physical Home button, and perhaps 3D facial recognition and/or iris scanning. In addition, rumors suggest that Touch ID could be embedded in or under a True Tone display, or could possibly be relocated to the rear of the device if Apple can't perfect the under-screen technology in time. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: micgadget.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has delayed the release of "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," its first original television series, reports Reuters. The series, which will premiere on Apple Music, was supposed to launch in April, but its debut has been delayed. Apple, a company known for its precisely coordinated product launches, declined to explain the delays, but said in a statement that "Carpool Karaoke: The Series will premiere on Apple Music later this year."Apple was originally planning to hold a premiere party for "Carpool Karaoke" in March, but the party was postponed. The party was then supposed to take place on Monday, but it was again pushed back due to the show's delayed launch. "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" is based on the popular Carpool Karaoke segment from "The Late Late Show with James Corden." Apple purchased rights to the show back in mid-2016 and showed off the first trailer for the series in February of 2017. The show, composed of 16 half-hour episodes, will feature celebrity pairs "riding along in a car together as they sing tunes from their personal playlists." According to Apple, the show's stars will also "surprise fans" who are not expecting to see "big stars belting out tunes one lane over." "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" will star James Corden, Will Smith, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan, John Cena, Shaquille O'Neal, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and more, with a different host for each episode. Apple is aiming to drive more subscribers to Apple Music with "Carpool Karaoke," and the show, when it launches, will be available only to Apple Music subscribers.Tags: Apple Music, Carpool Karaoke Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has hired Jeff Norris, an augmented reality expert who founded the Mission Operations Innovation Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, reports Bloomberg. Norris has reportedly joined Apple as a senior manager working on the augmented reality team led by Mike Rockwell, who formerly ran Dolby Labs. The team is said to be working on the previously-rumored augmented reality smart glasses as well as AR features for future versions of the iPhone. Prior to joining Apple, Norris worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he was employed since 1999. Along with founding the Mission Operations Innovation Office, he founded the JPL Ops Lab for developing human-system interfaces for mission operations, and he led multiple projects focused on human-system interaction with an emphasis on virtual and augmented reality. On his website, Norris features a speech he gave on augmented reality and Nasa's JPL Ops Lab, much of which was focused on augmented reality headsets and their uses. Under Norris' leadership, the JPL Ops Lab provided the Microsoft HoloLens to astronauts onboard the International Space Station and developed software for virtually working on Mars with the HoloLens. For the last couple of years, Apple has taken a deep interest in augmented and virtual reality, and is said to have a large team of employees working on the technologies and exploring ways they could be used in future Apple products. Apple has been working on both virtual reality headsets and augmented reality smart glasses, with the aim of launching the latter in 2018. We've also heard rumors suggesting augmented reality functionality could be incorporated into the iPhone, perhaps as early as the iPhone 8 set to be released this September. Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his excitement about augmented reality several times in recent months. "I think AR is that big, it's huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives," he said in February of 2017.Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Tags: bloomberg.com, NASA Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung's trouble with the Galaxy Note 7, which notably caused several fires due to battery troubles and led to a full recall, hasn't affected demand for its newly launched Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. According to a statement released this morning by Samsung (via VentureBeat), Samsung saw 30 percent year-over-year growth in preorders compared to the Galaxy S7. While Samsung did not give specific sales numbers, the company said it saw its "best ever" preorder period. "We are delighted to see the response to the Galaxy S8 and S8+," remarked Samsung Electronics America president Tim Baxter. "The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are a result of that recommitment and the market has responded -- with a more than 30 percent year-over-year growth in pre-orders versus the record pre-orders we had with Galaxy S7, making it our best ever. The response is humbling, energizing and points to a great launch week. We aim to push the boundaries of what's possible in the name of a better, smarter, more exciting experience for our consumers."The Galaxy S8 shares many features that could potentially be coming in Apple's 2017 OLED iPhone, including an edge-to-edge OLED display, iris scanning, a rear fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, IP68 water resistance, and camera improvements, though it does not feature a dual-lens setup as the iPhone 8 will. Samsung's smartphone is, however, launching without one of its key features -- support for Bixby, Samsung's new virtual assistant built on Viv technology acquired from the original developers behind Siri. Bixby's English-language launch has been delayed due to performance issues, leaving one of the buttons on the Galaxy S8 non-functional. Despite the missing functionality, the S8 and S8+ have received largely positive reviews. The AMOLED display is said to be "wonderfully vibrant and sharp," while the phone itself has been described as "slimmer and more attractive" than the iPhone 7 Plus but with a bigger screen. Camera reviews suggest the low-light camera performance of the S8 beats the performance of the iPhone 7 Plus, but that's comparing a new device to a previous-generation device. Rumors suggest a major camera overhaul is coming with the iPhone 8, which appears to feature a dual-lens vertical camera that could result in both better images and augmented reality functionality. Apple's iPhone 8 won't be coming until September, and even then, rumors suggest the higher-end OLED model could be constrained until late 2017 or early 2018. Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ went on sale on April 21 in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 starts at $750, while the larger 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ starts at $850.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and one month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which introduced Night Shift for the Mac. The fourth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to the release notes accompanying the beta, the update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Apple's release notes don't often provide a lot of insight into what's included in new beta software, so we don't know what features or bug fixes might be included in the 10.12.5 update. No notable changes or major bug fixes were discovered in the first three betas, but should anything pop up in the fourth macOS Sierra 10.12.5 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the third iOS 10.3.2 beta and one month after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System. Apple also released a minor iOS 10.3.1 update in early April, which focused on security improvements. Registered developers can download the fourth iOS 10.3.2 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. Apple doesn't typically provide detailed release notes for its iOS updates, so we don't yet know what features, improvements, or bug fixes might be coming in iOS 10.3.2, aside from some fixes for SiriKit car commands, outlined in the release notes for the first beta. As a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect iOS 10.3.2 to offer bug fixes and performance improvements rather than outward-facing features. No notable features were found in the first three betas, but if anything new is found in the fourth iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
As more alleged design schematics and dummy models of the "iPhone 8" leak online, one of the biggest questions remains the smartphone's actual launch date. Although some industry sources believe the tenth-anniversary iPhone will still launch in September -- perhaps in very short supply -- Japanese site Mac Otakara earlier this year suggested the OLED iPhone 8 would launch "very much" behind the the LCD models. Today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published a report supporting the theory that Apple will debut the OLED iPhone in September, but the device will face "severe supply shortages" for some time. Kuo believes that production ramp-up on the OLED iPhone model won't begin until as late as October-November, two months later than previous ramp-ups in August-September. Similar delayed production rumors have been circulated by Bloomberg, analysts from Barclays, and Brian White. Kuo believes that this delay "won't undermine actual demand," as long as the iPhone 8 lives up to the hype, but the heaviest demand might be pushed back until as far as the first quarter of 2018, when the bulk of users could get their hands on the device according to Kuo. Production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to October-November (previously estimated to be August-September, as in previous years). That said, if new features, such as 3D sensing, can provide good user experience, a temporary supply shortfall won’t undermine actual demand, which may be deferred to 1H18. In that case, potential contribution starting late-2Q17 from OLED iPhone could be partially delayed by 3-6 months for related suppliers. This delayed production ramp-up is listed by Kuo as a "potential downside risk to shipments" of all three iPhone models believed to launch this year, with a second risk coming from Apple's competitors. Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi are all gearing up to launch "high-end full-screen smartphones" in 2017, and all could have an impact specifically on the LCD models of the 2017 iPhone, according to Kuo, because those models "do not have full-screen form factors." Because of these potential risks affecting the iPhone's shipments this year, Kuo adjusted shipping estimates for the device accordingly. The analyst believes that the "worst case scenario" could see iPhone shipments decrease by 15 to 20 percent and result in 80 to 90 million units shipped, versus a previous estimate of 100-110 million units (a 60:40 weighting is placed for the OLED and LCD iPhone models). Ultimately, Kuo said that, "We see a higher probability of the worst case scenario coming to pass." Production delays in this year's OLED iPhone are again sourced from the device's intricate manufacturing processes, thanks to numerous upgrades including its customized OLED panel, new 10-nanometer A11 processor, all-new 3D Touch module, substrate-like printed circuit board, and 3D sensing. Despite these production difficulties, Kuo said that the iPhone 8's announcement and launch time of the new iPhones will remain similar to previous years, suggesting the usual September iPhone event from Apple. While we believe the announcement and launch time of the new iPhones will be similar to previous ones, production ramp up of OLED iPhone could be delayed to as late as October-November compared to the usual ramp up period of August-September, due to increased production difficulty. In other words, severe supply shortages may persist for a while after the new models are launched, capping total shipments of new iPhones in 2H17. Kuo also sees a potential loss of appeal by high-end users on the LCD versions of the new iPhone models, due to their lack of a full-screen design, contributing to Apple's potentially weak shipping momentum for the iPhone later this year in addition to the worst case scenario for the OLED model.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Ming-Chi Kuo, OLED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Pictures of a dummy "iPhone 8" model appeared on social media over the weekend depicting a handset with a front and rear made of what looks like 2.5D curved glass and a stainless steel edge design. The dummy device is purportedly a "CNC model according to Foxconn", according to the original Twitter poster, but there's no way to verify the claim one way or the other, so take the following with a big pinch of salt. The front of the device appears to have an edge-to-edge screen with no discernible bezels, while around the back there's a vertically aligned dual-lens camera, but no other identifiable markings. That includes no rear-mounted Touch ID sensor, but also no Apple logo, either. The sides look like stainless steel, similar to those of the iPhone 4. There are volume buttons and a mute switch on the left, and a power button and SIM tray on the right. The power button appears to be longer than on previous iPhones, however. The poster of the images offered additional details supposedly from a source with links to Foxconn, suggesting that the "iPhone 8" will have a thickness and size similar to the current iPhone 7, while the steel edges will be finished in a polished "Space Black" color. Apart from a further image showing off the latter feature, the poster has also shown off schematics "based on blueprints" that depict a series of components hidden beneath the top of the display, where the edges of the display are indicated by a red outline. An alleged schematic of the internal components of the next iPhone has also been shared. Apple is thought to be testing more than 10 prototype iPhone models, so it's not yet clear what we should expect. Most rumors so far suggest the upcoming OLED iPhone will have a 5.5-inch bezel-less screen with Touch ID embedded in the front display, so there will be no home button. However Apple is said to be having trouble integrating the Touch ID technology into the screen, and leaked design schematics have indicated that the fingerprint sensor could be moved to the rear of the device, so the final design is far from certain. Some rumors suggest the display itself may feature edges that are curved on both sides like the Galaxy S7, but the phone may have the same slightly curved 2.5D display as the iPhone 7 due to technical challenges manufacturing the more curved version. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the glass will be built around a polished stainless steel frame that's similar in design to the Apple Watch. More images of the dummy iPhone shown above, including a machined chassis, can be found here.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to pull Uber's app from the App Store in early 2015 after discovering the ride-hailing company was secretly "fingerprinting" iPhones that used the app, it emerged on Sunday. The claim appeared in a New York Times report profiling Uber's risk-taking chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was apparently summoned to Apple's campus for a face-to-face meeting with Cook over the app's behavior. Travis Kalanick (left) and Tim Cook at a 2016 fashion gala (Image: Reuters) According to the report, Uber was trying to prevent fraudsters from creating multiple fake accounts on the same device to collect new account bonuses, but to do this it had been recording the UUID serial numbers of iPhones so that it could identify them even after the app had been deleted and the phone wiped. Knowing that the approach was a clear violation of Apple's app privacy guidelines, Uber implemented the tactic regardless, and even went so far as to geofence Apple's Cupertino campus so that Apple engineers using the app wouldn't see its fingerprinting behavior. Mr. Kalanick told his engineers to "geofence" Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a way to digitally identify people reviewing Uber’s software in a specific location. Uber would then obfuscate its code from people within that geofenced area, essentially drawing a digital lasso around those it wanted to keep in the dark. Apple employees at its headquarters were unable to see Uber’s fingerprinting.However, the tactic didn't go unnoticed by Apple engineers for long. Soon after the discovery was made, Tim Cook had a meeting with Kalanick and demanded that Uber stop the fingerprinting immediately, otherwise the app would be removed from the App Store. Facing the loss of millions of iPhone customers which would essentially destroy the ride-hailing business, Mr. Kalanick acceded. This isn't the first time reports have emerged over the Uber app's dubious-sounding behavior. Concerns were raised late last year when users complained that the app appeared to track them for days or even weeks after they last used the ride-hailing service, forcing an explanation from the company. The New York Times article offers more detail on the Uber CEO's history of controversial business tactics and can be read here.Tag: Uber Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has developed a training program to instruct employees on how to handle cars being used to test its autonomous driving software platform, according to documents obtained by Business Insider. The company's "Development Platform Specific Training" document references an "Apple Automated System" and a "Development platform," alluding to the self-driving software platform Apple is rumored to be building after plans for a full autonomous electric vehicle fell through. Click to enlarge Apple recently obtained a permit from the California DMV that will allow it to test self-driving vehicles on public roads, and as part of that process, the company appears to be training employees to use whatever system it's testing. According to the DMV, Apple plans to use three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs, which will be driven by six drivers with expertise in areas like machine learning. Based on the documents, drivers are required to pass seven tests as part of their training before being allowed to work with Apple's software platform. Each driver must complete two practice runs and three trials to pass tests, which cover topics like taking control of the vehicle at tight U-turns, sudden acceleration, sudden braking, and more. Click to enlargeAccording to the training packet, Apple's self-driving car uses a Logitech wheel and pedals to actuate drive by wire, and it supports one person at a time. Pressing the brake pedal or grabbing the steering wheel in Apple's test vehicles will disengage the electronic driving mode, but drivers can accelerate without overriding the "drive by wire" mode.Apple's work in the car industry has been something of an open secret for the past three years. The company was originally planning to create its own autonomous vehicle, but pivoted to an autonomous driving software platform following internal strife and leadership issues. Apple is now said to be creating a driving system under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, with the car team having been given until the end of this year to prove the feasibility of a self-driving car platform. Such a system could potentially allow Apple to partner with car manufacturers as a sort of expansion of CarPlay. With Apple ready to test the software on public roads, it appears development is fairly far along. Should the company take vehicles out on California streets, its work will need to be publicly shared with the DMV based on California law.Related Roundup: Apple Car Tag: businessinsider.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has recently hired John Fenwick and Michael Trela, two Google satellite executives, reports Bloomberg. Fenwick led Google's spacecraft operations, while Trela was head of satellite engineering. Both Trela and Fenwick are reporting to Greg Duffy, the former co-founder of camera company Dropcam. What the two are doing at Apple is unclear, but Bloomberg speculates they're either working on satellites for image collection or satellites for communications. Rumors have suggested Apple is using a fleet of drones to collect data to improve Apple Maps, with the company having filed for an FAA permit to be able to fly drones for commercial purposes. Apple also acquired Aether Industries in 2015, a previously unknown purchase. Aether Industries develops high-bandwidth radio transceivers and high-altitude balloons. On its website, Aether Industries shows off a range of high-resolution aerial imagery and claims to provide a "full imaging and mapping solution for full color aerial images." There's also evidence Apple is interested in deploying satellites for communication purposes. Boeing has been working on sending more than 1,000 satellites into low-earth orbit for the purpose of providing broadband access, and the company has reportedly been in talks with Apple. The aerospace company has talked with Apple about the technology company being an investor-partner in the project, a person familiar with the situation said. It's unclear if those talks will result in a deal. At the annual Satellite 2017 conference in Washington D.C. last month, industry insiders said Boeing's project was being funded by Apple, Tim Farrar, a satellite and telecom consultant at TMF Associates Inc., wrote in a recent blog. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment.Former Boeing executive James Bell also joined Apple's board of directors back in October of 2015, another potential link between Apple and Boeing. It continues to be unclear if Apple will get involved with Boeing's broadband endeavor, but it's easy to see why Apple might be interested with Boeing aiming for faster speeds than existing cellular systems. Apple and Google declined to comment on the hiring, while Fenwick, Trela, and Duffy did not respond to Bloomberg's request for comments.Tags: Google, satellite, Aether Industries, Apple acquisitions Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Multiple design renders of Apple's much-rumored 5.8-inch OLED iPhone have surfaced over the course of the last two weeks, giving us our first look at what the device might look like. Apple is testing multiple prototypes so we have seen several designs, but two of them have focused on a device with an aluminum frame, a vertical dual-lens camera, and a mysterious hole on the back below the Apple logo. Now a third render has popped up featuring the same general design, but this time, it's a render of a full rear casing, which provides a clearer look at what the "iPhone 8" might look like at launch, should this be the design Apple chooses to use. Created by Instagram user bro.king, the renderings are directly based on the previously leaked design schematics. The rendered shell is made from silver aluminum, with a squared design that's highly reminiscent of the iPhone 5 family rather than the smoother curves of more recent iPhone models. Size details are not included, but the design schematics it's likely based on suggested the device measures in at 149.5mm tall by 72.5mm wide, which is slightly larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 at 138.3mm by 67.1mm. In line with multiple rumors, it features a vertical dual-lens camera which Apple is said to be implementing to introduce better picture quality and perhaps augmented reality functionality, and most notably, there's a circular cutout on the back. Rumors have suggested that this is for a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and this is perhaps the prototype Apple will use if it can't reliably integrate Touch ID under the display of the iPhone 8, but there's also the possibility that the cutout is for an inductive wireless charging module. Apple is rumored to be implementing wireless charging in the iPhone 8, and the latest information on the matter has suggested Apple will use an inductive charging solution rather than long-range wireless charging technology, which is not yet reliable enough. As mentioned above, Apple is allegedly testing up to 10 OLED iPhone prototypes, so this isn't necessarily the finished product that we're going to see in September. We have also seen a design prototype featuring a device with a glass body, a 4mm bezel and an edge-to-edge display, along with no visible Touch ID sensor. We're getting closer to the point when Apple will need to start finalizing a design, so we may soon see part leaks that give us a better idea of the direction the company decided to go in.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has added select 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models to its refurbished store for the first time. The base model with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Graphics 550 is available for $1,529 in the United States, reflecting savings of $270 off Apple's regular price of $1,799. Available colors include both Silver and Space Gray. The base model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,699, or $300 off Apple's regular price of $1,999. The higher-end model with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Graphics 550 is available for $1,699 in the United States, reflecting savings of $300 off Apple's regular price of $1,999. Available colors include both Silver and Space Gray. The higher-end model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,869, or $330 off Apple's regular price of $2,199. Other built-to-order configurations are available for between $1,949 and $2,459 in the United States, including models with up to a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB flash storage, and 16GB of RAM. Apple has also made refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models available in Canada for between $290 and $350 off. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 13-inch model with standard function keys were added to Apple's refurbished store in March. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was originally released in October 2016.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Tags: refurbished, Apple retail Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones went on sale today in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Korea, as the company looks to rebound from last year's Note7 debacle. Samsung will be encouraged by the record one million pre-orders it has already taken in Korea alone, while analysts are predicting global sales to reach at least 45 million units. The 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch devices cost $725 and $825, respectively, which gets users an OLED screen that takes up 80 percent of the front of the handsets. Online reviews appeared earlier this week praising the phones' Infinity Display, but several marked them down for the relocation of the fingerprint scanner to the rear of the devices, right alongside the camera lens. The camera itself has received less coverage, as it's actually the same 12MP dual pixel sensor as the one that appeared in last year's Galaxy S7. However, Samsung has tweaked the software powering the f/1.7 lens in an attempt to improve image processing. To compare the results with those of the iPhone 7 Plus, Tom's Guide posted a selection of side-by-side comparison shots taken with the two rival phones. Overall, the Galaxy S8 came out on top, but only by a slight margin. Despite lackluster macro performance with the S8, both phones' bright light results were said to be generally equal, but Samsung's new device bested the iPhone 7 Plus in well-lit nighttime and low-light shots, offering "generally richer" colors, sharper subjects, and "significantly more detail" in indoor and outdoor tests. Despite the higher megapixel count of the S8's front-facing camera (8MP versus 7MP on the iPhone 7), Apple's phone was deemed to take sharper selfie shots with richer colors, while the two phones were tied in 4K 30fps video tests, although the S8's audio was said to be slightly cleaner. Apple is thought to be testing a new dual-lens camera system similar to the iPhone 7 Plus for this year's upcoming OLED iPhone, which will have a Samsung-made display. Rumors suggest the front-facing camera of the iPhone 8 will use a "revolutionary" 3D-sensing system capable of identifying the depth and location of subjects, which could be used for facial and iris recognition or in future augmented reality features.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors." The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018. Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled. Intel's Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel's Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac. Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel's updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018. Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel's 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake. Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake chips.Related Roundup: iMac Tags: Intel, digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu has been named one of TIME's 2017 most influential people, and Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an excerpt about her for the magazine. In it, Cook calls Liu a "disrupter" for building a transportation platform that offers "convenience and flexibility" to millions of commuters. He lauds Didi Chuxing's work on algorithms that improve traffic, saying the technology could eliminate traffic jams in the future. She and her team are succeeding with innovative, big-data algorithms that aim both to improve the efficiency of Didi's service and to ease the congestion on roadways. By analyzing commuter patterns the way oceanographers track the tides, Didi may help traffic jams go the way of the flip phone. In over 400 cities across China, Jean has also built a company that is dedicated to serving the community around it. Guiding Didi to this higher purpose, and giving back to the places where it does business, she shares my belief that companies can and should measure themselves by more than just the bottom line.Apple CEO Tim Cook met Jean Liu in 2016 after Apple invested $1 billion in the ride-sharing company. Following its investment, Apple was given a Didi Chuxing board seat, held by Adrian Perica, Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions. Apple's Didi Chuxing investment provides Apple with access to data and expertise on both electric and autonomous car technology, a useful resource as Apple works to develop a self-driving car software platform.Tags: Tim Cook, Didi Chuxing Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Nike today announced that it has teamed up with Apple to create a new version of the Apple Watch Nike+, which pairs a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 aluminum case with a black and cream Nike band. Called the Apple Watch NikeLab, the new device is limited edition and designed to be "the ultimate style companion" for those who love to run. The limited edition, neutral-toned Apple Watch NikeLab maintains the beloved features of its predecessor: deep integration with the Nike+ Run Club app, exclusive Siri commands, GPS, a two-times-brighter display and water resistance to 50 meters*, all made possible by a powerful dual-core processor and watchOS 3. ​Apple Watch NikeLab will be available starting on April 27 from Nike.com, at NikeLab locations, and at the Apple Tokyo pop-up store at the Isetan department store. It will not be sold in Apple Stores or from the Apple website, a first for an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch NikeLab will likely be priced at $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model, the same price as the rest of the Apple Watch Nike+ lineup. Apple and Nike first teamed up in September of 2016 for the Nike+ Apple Watch that launched alongside Apple's own set of Series 2 Apple Watch devices. Apple offers two Apple Watch Nike+ models in Silver and Space Gray aluminum along with standalone Apple Watch Nike+ bands.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
On its Apple Music Twitter account, Apple today announced a new "Up Next" feature for Apple Music, which is designed to promote "Music's Next Generation," highlighting a new artists each month. For April, Apple is partnering with singer and rapper 6LACK for a range of projects to promote his latest album, FREE 6LACK. The new "Up Next" Apple Music section in iTunes features a documentary that delves into 6LACK's upbringing, the Free 6LACK album, a live performance, an interview with Zane Lowe, and several Apple Music playlists. Both Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe and 6LACK will also be on the Late Late Show with James Corden on April 20, presumably to talk about the new project and 6LACK's work. .@zanelowe and @6LACK will be on @latelateshow with @JKCorden tonight! Watch on @CBS at 12:37AM ET/PT. https://t.co/TrhFPh1sKI #UpNext pic.twitter.com/FZLE6MBM91— Beats 1 (@Beats1) April 20, 2017 Apple has done similar wide-ranging promotions for major album releases for well-known artists in the past, but its new Up Next feature gives the company a way to highlight and promote lesser-known artists in a major way.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has uploaded four videos to its YouTube channel ahead of Earth Day on April 22, with each providing a crash course on environmental topics. In the solar farm video, Apple's environmental chief Lisa Jackson gives a crash course on how the company's 40-megawatt solar farms in China produce enough electricity for all of its offices and retail stores in the country, while leftover energy that reaches the ground grows the grass underneath to feed yaks. In the zero waste video, Apple explains how none of its 14 final assembly facilities in China send any waste to landfills. The humorous video shows how the zero waste achievement supposedly started when Apple employee John Reynolds in iPhone Product Operations visited a factory in Guanlan, China. In the third video, Apple's head of environmental technologies Rob Guzzo and toxicology expert Art Fong explain how the company makes about 30 gallons worth of human sweat every year in order to ensure the Apple Watch and other products are to safe to use in contact with your skin while working out. In the fourth video, Apple's vice president of real estate Dan Whisenhunt explains how the company's new Apple Park campus has one of the world's largest naturally ventilated buildings. The building uses outside air and water to cool itself naturally, reducing its cooling load by 35 percent a year. Apple's other Earth Day initiatives include a commitment to stop mining the earth for rare minerals and metals, retail employees wearing green shirts, and green-tipped Apple logos at its retail stores. Apple also released its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report detailing its 2016 carbon footprint.Tags: Apple ads, Earth Day Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple currently has more iPhone users in the United States than at any point in history, according to market research firm comScore. There are now over an estimated 85.8 million iPhone owners aged 13 and older in the United States, based on a three-month average ending December 2016, according to comScore MobiLens Plus. Apple's latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models accounted for approximately 15 percent of that total. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models, including their respective Plus-sized versions, remain Apple's most popular smartphones in the U.S. with an estimated 48.4 percent share of the overall installed base. Meanwhile, an estimated 17.8 percent of the users are still using an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, or iPhone 5c. iPhone is the most popular smartphone in both the United States and the world, according to market research firms Kantar Worldpanel and IHS Markit respectively. iOS adoption trails Android in the United States, however, given a wider variety of Android smartphones available to purchase. iOS adoption among smartphone users aged 13 and older is an estimated 43 percent in the United States, based on a three-month average ending December 2016, according to comScore. The research firm places Android at 54 percent during the same time period, with BlackBerry and Windows 10 Mobile barely registering. comScore's data differs from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which estimated that the iPhone's installed base reached 132 million units in the United States as of December 2016. However, CIRP's data is extrapolated from a survey of 500 Apple customers with no 13-and-over age parameter.Tag: comScore Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
iPhone owners are largely satisfied with Apple's CarPlay, according to a new report from market research firm Strategy Analytics. The report is available to Strategy Analytics clients only, but author Chris Schreiner shared some of his findings with MacRumors. 31 percent of users said they were "very satisfied" with CarPlay, while 54 percent said they were "satisfied," for an overall customer satisfaction rate of 85 percent. However, the report only looked at 70 owners of 2016-2017 vehicles with CarPlay installed in the United States, which is a rather small sample size. 43 percent of those users are "very likely" to recommend CarPlay to others, while 37 percent are "likely" to recommend it, said Strategy Analytics. Those with CarPlay were likely to use it for "all or most" of their in-car infotainment needs, often in favor of their vehicle's standard system, according to the report. 70 percent of participants with both CarPlay and a built-in navigation system in their car said they choose CarPlay with Apple Maps most or all of the time over their vehicle's standard system. 59 percent of the people said they use CarPlay for audio needs most or all of the time over their vehicle's radio. "Given Apple's continued updates to CarPlay enhancing the experience further, and car-makers' inability to do the same along with their long development times, CarPlay is poised to handle the vast majority of consumers' in-vehicle needs," said Schreiner, Director of Syndicated Research at Strategy Analytics. While customer satisfaction with CarPlay might be strong, Apple's in-car software platform is far from perfect. Last month, a side-by-side test of CarPlay and Android Auto showed Siri was often unable to properly interpret what the driver was saying, which in one case led Apple Maps to incorrectly navigate him to an address in Tennessee rather than Toronto. Android Auto, meanwhile, interpreted voice commands correctly. Video courtesy of YouTube channel The Straight Pipes via Daring Fireball CarPlay continues to improve in other areas. In iOS 10.3, for example, Apple provided drivers with a quicker and safer way to switch between apps without having to take their eyes off the road for long periods of time. Wireless CarPlay is also now available in select BMW models, or with Alpine's aftermarket system. Apple is also rumored to be working on "enhanced" Siri capabilities for the iPhone, and those improvements would likely extend to CarPlay. CarPlay is now available in over 200 vehicle models in the United States, enabling drivers to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more with Siri voice commands and on-screen controls. The platform requires an iPhone 5 or newer. Aftermarket systems are available from brands such as Alpine, Kenwood, and Pioneer for do-it-yourself CarPlay installations.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tag: Strategy Analytics Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple purchased the rights to the documentary "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives," reports Billboard. The documentary will premiere tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The film was directed by Chris Perkel and is based on music producer Clive Davis' autobiography, released in 2013. Davis was the president of Columbia Records from 1967 to 1975, and he founded Arista Records, where he was president of the company until 2000. He went on to found J Records, and then served as CEO and chairman of RCA Music Group. At the current time, Davis is the chief creative officer at Sony Music Entertainment. Davis has influenced many important music artists over the course of his career, including Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Santana, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, and more."Apple is a global innovator that has revolutionized the distribution of music," said Davis in a statement. "It is a touching honor to share the music and unique stories that have shaped my career with millions of Apple Music subscribers around the world. I am overjoyed to work with them to continue this incredible journey!"Apple has not announced when it plans to release "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives," on Apple Music, nor has the company said whether the film will have a theatrical release.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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