posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
After first giving iTunes an emoji-themed makeover, Apple is continuing its celebration of World Emoji Day with a preview of all-new emoji characters coming to iOS, macOS, and watchOS later in 2017. The new emoji previewed today by Apple include Woman with Headscarf, Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Sandwich, Coconut, T-Rex, Zebra, Zombie, Elf, Star-Struck, Exploding Head, and more. All of the emoji shared today were previously included in the new Unicode 10 standard released in June. The new emoji make it easier for users to express themselves with greater diversity, additional animals and creatures, new smiley faces and more. Apple didn't specify a launch date for the new line of emoji characters coming to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches this year, but it's expected that they will arrive sometime around the public launch of iOS 11 this fall, or soon thereafter. World Emoji Day celebrations are also extending to the iOS App Store, where Apple said that it has highlighted apps that showcase fun things to do with the smartphone characters.Tag: emoji Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Reports of delays to Apple's upcoming iPhone line-up continued this week, with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claiming on Monday that production of the so-called "iPhone 8" will not start until between November and December, with production of the more typical "S" cycle upgrades to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also potentially facing delays. According to the report, the flagship redesigned OLED iPhone will ship only in small volumes this year, because yield rates at the main manufacturing plants have still not reached the mass production stage. While there were previous reports indicating that volume production for new iPhone devices has commenced, yield rates at the two main ODMs, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron, have not yet reached levels that warrant mass production, the report said.Reports of iPhone delays typically happen every year and don't tend to pan out, but on balance we seem to be seeing more than usual this time around, apparently spurred by claims that Apple has found its redesigned handset particularly challenging to finalize, whether that's because of the intricacies of the customized OLED panel and other key components leading to low or staggered supplies, or problems integrating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently published a report supporting claims 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 rumors have been circulated by Bloomberg, analysts from Barclays, and Brian White. Today's report is the most delayed 2017 timeframe for "iPhone 8" production we've seen so far. Last week claims were also made that the software-side of things isn't going well for Apple either, with rumors that problems with the front-facing camera's 3D sensor could see the feature temporarily unavailable at launch. A purported wireless charging accessory for the iPhone is also thought to be coming later than originally planned. As for the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones that Apple is said to be launching alongside the OLED iPhone, volume production is now said to be entering "full swing" in August, which is one to two months later than the normal mass production schedule for Apple's iPhones. (Via DigiTimes.)Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Tag: digitimes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
It appears Apple may be cracking down on some VPN-based ad blockers that are designed to block ads in third-party apps, based on a recent interaction iOS developer Tomasz Koperski had with Apple's App Store review team. Koperski is the CTO of Future Mind, a software company that produces AdBlock, Weblock, and Admosphere, three ad blocking apps. When submitting an update for AdBlock for iOS, a VPN-based ad blocking app, it was rejected. Upon appeal to the App Review Board, Koperski was told Apple is no longer allowing VPN/root certificate-based ad blockers on the App Store and will not be accepting updates of existing ad blockers that use those techniques going forward. According to Apple, Future Mind's AdBlock app violates section 4.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which dictates that apps must be useful, unique, and "app-like." Specifically, the app violated section 4.2.1, which says "Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and should indicate that integration in their app description," and to get even more specific, Future Mind was told the update was rejected because "Your app uses a VPN profile or root certificate to block ads or other content in a third-party app, which is not allowed on the App Store." Koperski was told that Safari content blockers, introduced in iOS 9, will be the only Apple-supported ad blockers going forward, and those ad blockers are limited to use in the Safari web browser.After submitting an appeal to the App Review Board, a member of the Review Team contacted me directly via phone and informed that Apple has officially changed their policy regarding VPN/root certificate based ad blockers on the App Store and is no longer accepting updates of apps, which directly block content in third party apps. The only officially allowed ad blocking method is now Safari Content Blockers.Koperski says that the change marks a major shift in Apple's ad blocking policy, as Future Mind has had its ad blocking products in the App Store for the past five years. AdBlock, the app that Apple rejected, has been available for purchase since 2014, and it was one of the first VPN-based ad blockers able to block ads in all apps locally on both Wi-Fi and Cellular. There are dozens of similar ad blocking apps available in the App Store at the current time, some that were updated as recently as June. It's not clear why Apple has changed its policy after so many years, but many apps, including native apps like Apple News, feature ads as a way to monetize. Apple has recently undertaken a major overhaul of the App Store, eliminating clone apps, outdated apps, and more, so it's possible this new crackdown is a part of that effort. Since late 2015, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has been overseeing the App Store and has enacted some significant changes. Future Mind was told the AdBlock app could be updated if it switches from ad blocking via VPN to the Safari Content Blocker, but the company is worried about upsetting customers who paid for the ability to block adds in both Safari and in apps. The company has not yet decided what to do and is mulling several possible choices, including leaving the app as is, expanding existing functionality into a VPN service, or transitioning to a Safari-only blocker. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased expensive production equipment to produce the rigid flexible printed circuit board for the iPhone 8, reports The Korea Herald. Apple doesn't plan to use the equipment itself, but is instead leasing it to suppliers to ensure it can get the components it needs for the iPhone 8 amid rumors of production difficulties. The equipment cost Apple "tens of millions of dollars" and will be used to create the aforementioned circuit boards, which are a key component that connect parts like the iPhone's display and camera. A rigid flexible printed circuit board is reportedly more difficult to produce than conventional rigid or flexible PCBs. iPhone 7 logic board, image via iFixit Apple made the purchase after one of three suppliers it planned to source parts from backed out of the deal. Interflex and Youngpoong Electronics, two Korean companies, are said to be producing the components going forward."One of the three suppliers recently decided to back out," a source told ET News on condition of anonymity, saying that the supplier is a Taiwanese manufacturer. The exact reason why the Taiwanese supplier withdrew from the deal with a big client Apple was not revealed. But sources say the firm may have felt a pinch on the tricky production and strict quality requirements along with low profitability.With one supplier pulling out of the deal, Apple decided to make sure the remaining suppliers can meet capacity. "To fill the loss, Apple is supporting the other two suppliers, both Korean, to beef up production," said The Korea Herald's source. Rumors have suggested Apple is struggling to produce several of the new iPhone's components, including the 3D sensor and the display lamination process, which many analysts believe is going to lead to some delay in production ramp up. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple's plans, believes production ramp up could be delayed by a month or two, which means the iPhone 8 could be available in limited quantities with Apple unable to meet demand until late in 2017 or early in 2018.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
When you purchase an iTunes gift card and redeem it in the App Store, the camera on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac can scan the code on the card to recognize it automatically, saving you the time of typing the numbers in manually. Equinux, the company behind Mail Designer Pro 3, dug into how Apple's promo code engine works in an effort to make their own scannable cards, and the results are quite interesting. As it turns out, the scanning feature in the App Store is tuned to recognize two things: a unique, hidden font and the dimensions of the box around it. Equinux tried the box alone with a range of fonts like Courier and Monaco, and attempted to identify the unique characteristics of the font to find it, but were unsuccessful. Ultimately, the team realized the font that Apple's using is hidden deep within iTunes.The breakthrough came when we noticed that when you scan a card with your iPhone, the app briefly displays a "scanned" overlay of the code. This means the font must be embedded in the app somewhere. We tried the same with iTunes on macOS. And voilà - the iTunes on Mac behaves the same way. When you look at some of the other folders inside iTunes, we found a tantalizing plugin called "CodeRedeemer." It showed promise. But alas, no font files there either. The app binary does give a hint of where the heavy lifting is being done: "CoreRecognition.framework."Hidden in the CoreRecognition.framework, there are two fonts: "Scancardium," for entering and recognizing codes, and "Spendcardium," which appears to be for obscuring credit card details as they're entered. The two fonts can be found by going to Finder on a Mac, clicking Go, choosing Go to Folder and pasting the following: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreRecognition.framework/Resources/Fonts/ With a simple double click, the fonts can be installed on a Mac and can be used within different apps. While this is a neat breakdown for end users, it's of particular interest to developers because these fonts can be used to create custom App Store promo code cards that can be scanned in the same way as iTunes gift cards. Equinux outlines the exact font height to use and how to position it within the surrounding box to get Apple's engine to recognize it, details the company uncovered after investing a lot of time in tweaking fonts and the border of the required box. Equinux even went one step further and created helpful Sketch and Photoshop templates that developers can use to create App Store promo code cards that can be automatically scanned using a device camera and recognized by the App Store.Tags: App Store, iTunes Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple at WWDC 2017 last month introduced Core NFC, a new iOS 11 framework that enables apps to detect Near Field Communication tags. Similar to Apple Pay, iPhone users are prompted with a "Ready to Scan" dialog box. After holding the iPhone near an item with an NFC tag, a checkmark displays on screen if a product is detected. An app with Core NFC could then provide users with information about that product contained within the tag. A customer shopping at a grocery store could hold an iPhone near a box of crackers, for example, and receive detailed information about their nutritional values, price history, recipe ideas, and so forth. Or, at a museum, a visitor could hold an iPhone near an exhibit to receive detailed information about it. Core NFC will expand the iPhone's NFC chip capabilities beyond simply Apple Pay in several other ways. A bottle of wine with an NFC tag similar to CapSeal Cybersecurity company WISeKey, for example, today announced that its CapSeal smart tag will now support iPhone thanks to Core NFC. CapSeal smart tags are primarily used for authentication, tracking, and anti-counterfeiting on products like wine bottles. Many other companies offer similar solutions.When placed on a bottle of spirit or a bottle of lubricant oil, for instance, and tapped by an NFC phone, the chip is able to securely authenticate and track the bottle like an ePassport does. It offers the same certified security level. It also allows the brand to broadcast personalized messages to the phone-holder detecting whether the bottle has been open or not.Core NFC is currently supported by the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the framework is read-only for NFC tags of types 1 through 5 that contain data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). Developers interested in learning more can read Apple's documentation or watch the Introducing Core NFC session from WWDC 2017.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Tags: NFC, Core NFC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes Chief Eddy Cue this week attended the Allen & Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, as they have done for the last several years. Many well known tech and media moguls attend the Sun Valley event, which is essentially a retreat and is invitation only, but meetings and discussions at the conference are kept under wraps so it's unlikely we'll hear details on anything that goes on. In years past, Cook and Cue have kept a low profile during the week long event. Described as a "summer camp for billionaires," the conference includes activities like rafting, cycling, and golf, and because it brings so many major media executives together in one place, it's been credited as the catalyst for major deals like the AOL and Time Warner merger, Walt Disney's acquisition of ABC, Google's purchase of YouTube, and Jeff Bezos' acquisition of The Washington Post. Apple has been taking a more direct approach to media in recent months with its ever-growing interest in original content, so it's no surprise to see Cook and Cue at the event once again. Other notable 2017 attendees include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Jared and Ivanka Trump, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Twitter COO Anthony Noto, 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, CBS Chairman Les Moonves, and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. Image via Rob Latour, ShutterstockTags: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Matthew Roberts has uploaded his latest 4K drone tour of Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California. A limited number of Apple employees began moving into the new headquarters in April, but the video shows that construction is still well underway. Among the highlights are a closer look at the main circular building, Steve Jobs Theater, the visitor center across the street, and the overall landscaping. Roberts also flew his drone over the historic Glendenning Barn, which Apple has now completely reassembled after tearing it down and pledging to move it to a new location due to construction of Apple Park. Glendenning Barn, a historic site in Cupertino, has been situated on Apple Park's property since the early twentieth century. After taking over the site of HP's previous campus, Apple reportedly dismantled the redwood barn piece by piece, including every plank, nail, and crossbeam, and made careful notes on its construction. The drone video reveals that Apple has successfully recreated the barn, although a few of the redwood planks appear to be brightly colored, indicating they might not be original. Apple reportedly stockpiled redwood salvaged from an old grove in case any damaged planks needed to be replaced. When finished, Apple Park will be surrounded by some 9,000 trees, with a large pond, walking trails, benches, and a fitness center for employees.Tag: Apple Park Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is working on a rear-facing 3D laser system that will enable better depth detection for augmented reality apps and more accurate autofocus in the iPhone 8, reports Fast Company, citing a source with knowledge of the company's plans. The iPhone 8 is said to use a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) system for the rear camera, which analysts have previously speculated could be added to the device. There's also been some evidence that Apple has been sourcing VCSEL components from companies like Lumentum and Finisar, and Fast Company says Apple has tapped both companies along with II-VI for sensors. iPhone 8 rendering via OnLeaks and TigerMobiles VCSEL would offer faster and more accurate depth measurements for augmented reality purposes, along with speedier autofocusing when taking a photograph.VCSEL laser systems calculate the distance the light travels from the laser to the target and back to the sensor, and generate a Time of Flight (TOF) measurement. The system consists of a source (the VCSEL laser), a lens, detector (sensor), and a processor. The whole thing costs about $2 per phone, our source says.That Apple is working on improved augmented reality hardware for the iPhone 8 is no surprise given the focus on augmented reality and ARKit in iOS 11. New 3D camera technology was rumored for the rear-facing camera as early as November of 2016, and multiple design leaks point towards a revamped vertical dual-lens camera, suggesting a major camera revamp. The front-facing camera is also expected to include a new 3D sensor that would enable facial recognition. According to Fast Company's source, the VCSEL system for the rear-facing camera is "probably intended" for the upcoming iPhone 8, but its inclusion "depends on the progress" Apple engineers make integrating it into the iPhone. As we learned in a report yesterday, the source that Fast Company has spoken to believes iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch, though it seems more logical that work on the iPhone 8 is complete as we are just two months away from its prospective September introduction. Given the many rumors of a major camera redesign and previous rumors pointing towards 3D capabilities, a VCSEL laser system is a reasonable feature to expect to see in the device. Fast Company's previous report suggested there is a "sense of panic" in the air at Apple as engineers and designers struggle to work out software problems with wireless charging and the 3D sensors meant for the device. The site also said Touch ID was "likely" to be included in the iPhone 8, despite multiple rumors suggesting it's been removed in favor of facial recognition.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's Mac sales remained stagnant in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the year-ago quarter, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner. During the quarter, Apple shipped an estimated 4.24 million Macs worldwide, down from 4.26 million in the second quarter of 2016, for an estimated decline in growth of -0.4 percent. While sales were down slightly, market share was up. Apple held 6.9 percent of the market during the quarter, up from 6.7 percent a year ago. Apple is estimated to be the number four PC vendor in the world, edging out Asus, the company that held that position this time last year. HP and Dell, the number one and number three worldwide PC vendors, respectively, saw shipment growth during the quarter. HP shipped an estimated 12.7 million PCs for 10.8 percent of the market (3.3 percent growth) while Dell shipped an estimated 9.6 million PCs for 15.6 percent of the market (1.4 percent growth). Lenovo, once the number one worldwide PC vendor, is now in second place after sales dropped from 13.3 million in Q2 2016 to 12.2 million in Q2 2017. Lenovo now holds 19.9 percent of the market and saw a -8.4 percent dip in growth. Asus and Acer, the number five and six worldwide PC vendors, also saw PC sales fall significantly. Asus shipped 4 million PCs during the quarter, down from 4.5 million for -10.3 percent growth, while Acer shipped 3.9 million, down from 4.4 million for -12.5 percent growth. According to Gartner, overall worldwide PC shipments totaled 61.1 million units in Q2 2017, a 4.3 percent decline compared to Q2 2016."Higher PC prices due to the impact of component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand in the second quarter of 2017," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner "The approach to higher component costs varied by vendor. Some decided to absorb the component price hike without raising the final price of their devices, while other vendors transferred the costs to the end-user price."In the United States, PC shipments totaled 14 million units during the second quarter of 2017, a 5.7 percent decline compared to the second quarter of 2016. Apple is the number four PC vendor in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.7 million Macs (for 11.8 percent market share), a significant decline from the 1.83 million Macs shipped in the second quarter of 2016. Apple's U.S. sales dropped 9.6 percent from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017, with Lenovo and Asus also seeing sharp dips. Lenovo's sales were down 16.3 percent (1.9 million PCs shipped vs. 2.2 million in Q2 2016), while Asus's sales were down 40.7 percent (447K PCs shipped vs. 754K in Q2 2016). IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and its numbers are a bit rosier. IDC estimates Apple shipped 4.3 million Macs during the quarter, up from 4.26 million for a small 1.7 percent growth. According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.5 million units, a decline of 3.3 percent. Like Gartner, IDC estimates Apple is the number four worldwide PC vendor, behind HP, Lenovo, and Dell, but above Asus and Acer. It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Mac shipments of 4.56 million in the second quarter of 2016, but the actual number was 4.26 million. Apple recently refreshed much of its Mac notebook lineup and its iMacs, so it could see some growth in the coming quarter as customers purchase the new machines.Tags: IDC, Gartner Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second public beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to public beta testers, two weeks after releasing the first public beta. The second public beta of macOS High Sierra corresponds with the third developer beta, provided to developers earlier this week. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program are able to download the second macOS High Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store after the proper profile has been installed. 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 iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. For instructions on how to install the public beta, check out our how to, and make sure to make a backup before giving the software a try. Don't install the beta on a main machine, as betas are notoriously unstable. High Sierra runs on all machines that support Sierra. The macOS High Sierra update is designed to improve and refine the existing macOS Sierra operating system. Along with a new, more efficient file system (APFS) designed for modern storage, the update introduces Metal 2, the next-generation version of Apple's Metal graphics API with support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC aka H.265) is coming in High Sierra, and many of the existing apps are being updated. Photos features a new persistent side view and editing tools for Curves, Selective Color, and Live Photos, while Siri is gaining a more natural voice and support for more music-related commands. Safari offers a new autoplay blocking feature for videos and Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, while Mail storage is being optimized to take up 35 percent less space. iMessages can now be stored in iCloud, and there are new iCloud Drive file sharing options and new iCloud storage family plans. For a full overview of the new features you can expect to see when macOS High Sierra is released in the fall, make sure to check out our full macOS High Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second public beta of iOS 11 to its public beta testing group, allowing non-developers to download and test the new operating system ahead of its fall launch. The second public beta of iOS 11 comes a little over two weeks after Apple released the first public beta and it corresponds to the third developer beta that was released earlier this week. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 11 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device. Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Step-by-step instructions for downloading installing the public beta can be found in our how to. Betas should only be installed on a secondary device as the software is not stable and can include many bugs. iOS 11 introduces subtle design changes to the operating system, including a new Lock screen experience and a customizable, redesigned Control Center. Siri is smarter, has a more natural voice, and can do more, Messages features person-to-person Apple Pay, Notes has searchable handwriting and document scanning, and Music lets you share playlists with your friends. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A new Files app improves file management on iOS devices, and on the iPad, there's a new Dock, an App Switcher, and support for Drag and Drop, all of which improves multitasking on the device. An entirely revamped App Store is coming in iOS 11, photos and videos take up less space, iMessages can be stored in iCloud, and developers are getting new tools like ARKit for creating impressive new augmented reality apps and games. In the developer beta released this week, Apple introduced a handful of changes, including new TV Providers, new locations for the Files app, changes to the iPad App Switcher, and more. Details can be found in our beta 3 tidbits post and the video below. For full details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup. Apple plans to release iOS 11 to the public in the fall following several months of testing and refinement.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today launched its annual Back to School promotion in the United States and Canada, offering a free pair of Beats Solo3 wireless headphones to qualifying students, parents of students, and educators that purchase an eligible Mac with education pricing, including the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac Pro. The promotion also offers Apple's newer BeatsX wireless headphones, or students can pay the difference to upgrade to Beats Solo3 wireless headphones or Powerbeats3 wireless earphones, with the purchase of an iPad Pro. Apple's website outlines the complete eligibility requirements for the promotion in the United States and Canada. Tags: Beats, Back to School promotion, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has recently unveiled interactive HomeKit experiences in 46 of its retail stores worldwide, allowing customers to test out its smart home platform free of charge, according to TechCrunch. Interactive HomeKit demo area at an Apple Store via TechCrunch Each interactive setup consists of two vertical displays positioned behind an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch with the Home app, which customers can use to control accessories in the virtual room, such as lights and ceiling fans.Now, when you go into Apple’s new retail stores, you’ll be able to use the Home app from either an Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad to control devices like the Phillips Hue light bulb, the Hunter ceiling fan and many others. If you tap to the lower the shades in the living room, for example, you’ll see the shades lower in the house shown on the screen.In the United States, customers can try HomeKit at Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco, its World Trade Center and Williamsburg stores in New York City, and 28 other stores not named throughout the country. The experience is also available until at least December in 15 stores outside of the United States, including select locations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. At every other Apple retail store, the company will be offering non-interactive HomeKit experiences, according to the report. HomeKit enables Apple users to control lights, switches, thermostats, fans, and other products with its Home app and Siri voice commands. HomeKit-enabled accessories can be controlled singularly, or in scenes, which enable multiple accessories to work in combination, all with a single command.Tags: HomeKit, Home, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
An eagle-eyed Reddit user has noticed that Apple's higher education store is currently unaccessible in countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Singapore, fueling speculation that Apple could be preparing to launch its annual Back to School promotion for students and educators. "We'll be back," the page reads, which is Apple's standard message when its website is being updated with new products and information. However, the downtime could also be nothing more than routine maintenance. For over a decade, Apple has offered an annual Back to School promotion, offering K-12 and college or university students, parents of students, and educators incentives, such as a free pair of Beats headphones or an Apple Store gift card valued up to $100, with the purchase of a qualifying Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Since 2006, Apple has launched its Back to School promotion in the United States and Canada as early as May 25, and as late as July 23. The promotion is usually extended to several European countries such as France, Germany, and Italy on either the same day, or no more than a few weeks later. These have been the promotion's exact kickoff dates each year in North America: • 2016: June 2 • 2015: July 23 • 2014: July 1 • 2013: July 2 • 2012: June 11 • 2011: June 16 • 2010: May 25 • 2009: May 27 • 2008: June 3 • 2007: June 5 • 2006: June 5 Apple's Back to School promotion is highly anticipated because it's one of the few times a year that Apple offers deals to customers, and many hold off on summer purchases until the event begins. Apple offered free Beats headphones in 2016 and 2015, free Apple Store gift cards in 2014, and free iTunes gift cards in 2013. Apple launched a Back to Uni promotion in Australia and New Zealand in February, offering a free Apple Store gift card valued between $70 and $100 with the purchase of a qualifying new Mac or iPad Pro.Tags: education, Back to School promotion, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
As the prospective September launch date of the iPhone 8 fast approaches, designers and engineers at Apple are said to be working "feverishly" to fix software problems in the device that could lead to production delays, reports Fast Company. Citing a source "knowledge of the situation," the site says there's a "sense of panic" in the air because should the problems not be resolved, the device might ship without major features enabled. One feature that might be delayed is wireless charging. Apple is said to be planning to implement inductive wireless charging in the iPhone 8, but rumors suggest it will be enabled through a standalone charger purchased separately. As previously shared by Apple blogger John Gruber, Apple may not ship the inductive wireless charging accessory until later in the year alongside an iOS 11.1 update. iPhone 8 renders from iDrop News While Gruber didn't offer an explanation, Fast Company says software issues, not components, are the problem. If the software isn't ready, wireless charging could be unavailable when the phone first begins shipping. Apple is also said to be struggling with the 3D sensor expected to be built into the front-facing camera, which is rumored to enable a facial scanning system that could replace Touch ID.Without confirming that's what the front-facing 3D sensor is for, my source says Apple has been struggling to get the sensor to work reliably. Again, the sensor hardware is not the problem, but rather the accompanying software. The source believes Apple will likely have the 3D software working in time. But if not, the company could include the sensor in the phone anyway, and turn it on later on with a software update.On the subject of Touch ID, Fast Company's source believes Apple could still be working to add it under the display. Yesterday, a report from KeyBanc Capital Markets suggested Apple was continuing to struggle to put the fingerprint sensor under the glass of the device, and that the company had "just a couple of weeks" to solve the problem. Though this sounds unlikely because new device designs are often finalized months ahead of production, Fast Company's source calls the report "plausible" and says "in all likelihood, the fingerprint sensor will be embedded under the display." The source also says iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch. With multiple reputable sources (Bloomberg and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo) reporting Apple has adopted a superior facial recognition system to replace Touch ID, it's not clear how accurate Fast Company's information is, but given the number of conflicting rumors we've heard over the course of the iPhone 8's development, it's still difficult to predict exactly what we're going to see when the device debuts in September. We've previously heard of problems with the display, the 3D sensor, and Touch ID, all of which have led to multiple rumors pointing towards serious supply issues. The iPhone 8, which will be sold alongside an "iPhone 7s" and an "iPhone 7s Plus," may not be widely available until late in 2017 or early in 2018 due to a later production ramp-up schedule, according to the latest rumor.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Tag: fastcompany.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Google's second-generation Pixel XL could feature a squeezable body, a 6-inch AMOLED display, and thinner bezels, according to information and rendered images leaked today by Android Police. LG is said to be manufacturing the Google Pixel XL 2, which features a design that's curved like the original Google Pixel. It continues to offer a rear fingerprint sensor (now located in the aluminum portion of the device) and a large single-lens camera, eschewing the dual-lens camera trend. Rendering created by Android Police The XL version, which is the only version covered in the leak, offers a 6-inch LG-made display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, rounded corners, and a "minimal bezel." Design wise, it could look a little like Apple's rumored iPhone 8, which is also expected to have a longer design with much thinner side and top/bottom bezels. Current iPhone 8 leaks suggest Apple's device will have little to no bottom bezel and a smaller top bezel, however. Most notably, the 2017 Pixel XL is rumored to include a "squeezable" frame like the recently launched HTC U11. The technology will let Pixel users squeeze their handsets to activate Google Assistant "in various ways." In the HTC U11, the "Edge Sense" feature lets people use a squeeze gesture to activate pressure sensors that can turn on the flashlight, launch the camera, take a photo, or launch Google Assistant. It's not clear when Google's second-generation Pixel XL device will be released, but the original version was unveiled in October of 2016, so a fall release date could be planned. If that's the case, the Pixel XL will launch during the same time frame as the iPhone 8 and could be one of the device's main competitors along with the already-available Samsung Galaxy S8 and the yet-to-be announced rumored Galaxy Note 8.Tag: Google Pixel Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Intel today unveiled its full lineup of "Purley" Xeon processors, most of which have already launched or are launching soon, but none of the chips in the lineup appear to be appropriate for Apple's upcoming iMac Pro at the high end. When the iMac Pro was announced, Apple said it would use Intel's Xeon processors, with 8, 10, and 18 core chips available as optional configurations with up to 42MB cache and maximum Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz. Despite rumors suggesting Apple will use Purley processors in the machines, the currently available chips do not match those specifications. The chips max out at 3.80GHz Turbo Boost and 38.5MB cache, so at least some of the processors Apple plans to use are not yet available from Intel. With none of the chips lining up with Apple's promised high-end specifications, the most likely explanation is that Intel has additional Purley chips on the horizon that have yet to be announced. Next-generation Xeon chips, codenamed Cascade Lake, won't be available until 2018, and thus won't be ready in time for Apple's promised December release date. In late June, Pike's Universum dug up firmware files from the macOS High Sierra beta suggesting the iMac Pro will use Intel's server-class LGA3647 socket rather than the desktop-class LGA2066 socket, pointing towards the use of server-grade "Purley" Skylake-SP processors. Those same firmware files suggest the new iMac Pro will feature a Secure Enclave with an ARM coprocessor like the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but it's unclear what that functionality will be used for. Touch ID is, however, a possibility. Apple's iMac Pro is expected to be available for purchase this December, with pricing starting at $4,999 in the United States. Along with server-grade processors, the machines are expected to feature Radeon Pro Vega graphics, up to 128GB of ECC RAM, and up to 4TB of SSD storage.Related Roundup: iMac Pro Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Volvo Trucks today unveiled its new line of VNL long-haul semi trucks, which come equipped with CarPlay and several other comfort-oriented technologies. Designed for professional drivers who travel over long distances, the VNL series trucks include what Volvo says is an "all-new" dashboard with a 5-inch color display that offers up trip and diagnostic data plus a 7-inch color touchscreen that supports CarPlay, a backup camera, and navigation features. With CarPlay support, drivers are able to access their music, incoming phone calls, messages, and other content safely through a direct connection with the iPhone. Along with the touchscreen, CarPlay controls can be accessed through a smart steering wheel that puts controls for nearly all interface functions right at a driver's fingertips. CarPlay is just one of the many driver perks built into the truck, which also includes an adjustable steering column, ergonomic seats with heating and ventilation, and sleeper cabs with a reclining bunk. The VNL trucks come in a range of configurations, including a new 70-inch sleeper in Volvo VNL 760 and 740 models. Though CarPlay was first officially unveiled in March of 2014, wide availability of the feature didn't come until mid-2015. Since then, hundreds of manufacturers have built CarPlay support into their vehicles, and many aftermarket solutions have been made available. Apple maintains a list of vehicles that support CarPlay on its website.Related Roundup: CarPlay Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
If you have a first-generation Apple Watch with a separated back cover, Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair it free of charge, according to an internal service policy obtained by MacRumors. Apple Watch with separated back cover via Reddit user PoorSpanaway Apple recently extended the service policy's coverage period to up to three years after the original purchase date. If you bought an Apple Watch in April 2015, for example, it is eligible for a free repair until April 2018.Apple has determined that under certain conditions on some first-generation Apple Watch devices the back cover may separate from the watch case. Apple will service eligible devices free of charge. Apple will authorize coverage for three years from the date of purchase.The service policy has been in effect since last year and applies to any first-generation Apple Watch, including Sport, Edition, and Hermès models, even if the device's limited one-year warranty or extended AppleCare coverage has elapsed. Affected customers can call an Apple Store and schedule a Genius Bar appointment, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, to initiate the repair process. Or, customers can call Apple Support to arrange shipment of the damaged Apple Watch to an Apple Repair Center in a postage paid box. Apple advises customers inquiring about a refund for a previous Apple Watch back cover repair to contact Apple Support. Several users have shared pictures of their first-generation Apple Watch with the back cover falling off on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web. In many cases, the back cover detaches when the Apple Watch is removed from its magnetic charger. Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, shared a picture of his wife's stainless steel Apple Watch with a detached back cover last October. He said the Apple Watch, purchased in May 2015, was providing erratic workout readings before coming apart after it was taken off of its magnetic charger. I sure hope Apple uses better glue for their cars than they do for their watches. pic.twitter.com/JkIThwC5B7— John Gruber (@gruber) October 3, 2016While many customers report that Apple repaired their Apple Watch free of charge, some have been forced to pay out of pocket. Since the service policy has not been publicly announced, some Apple support representatives may be unaware of its existence. Escalating your request to a senior advisor may help. Apple appears to have fixed the issue with its newer Series 1 and Series 2 models, perhaps by using a stronger adhesive.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4 Tag: AASP Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
For all the rumors we've seen recently surrounding Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8", one of the most inconsistent remains the fate of its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology in the redesigned flagship device, which is expected to launch in September. In late May, supply chain sources suggested that Apple had overcome technical hurdles and that the OLED iPhone will have Touch ID integrated into the display. However, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month, Apple plans to replace Touch ID in the iPhone 8 with a facial recognition security system – a prediction echoed by both JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall and Bloomberg. In the latest throw of the dice, a report from investment publication Barron's concludes that Apple is still struggling to put a fingerprint sensor under the glass of its next iPhone, and that the company has "just a couple of weeks" to solve the matter before its earnings estimates are at risk. According to KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves, who contributed to the report, Apple has until August to either place orders for chips to run a fingerprint sensor, or miss that window and not have a fingerprint ID at all, or delay more significantly the release of the iPhone.We believe it would typically take 12 weeks from placement of fingerprint IC orders to full volume production of iPhones. Consequently, if Apple is able to solve its fingerprint problems and place orders for fingerprint ICs before August, it would likely be able to reach volume production in late October or early November. We believe this remains Apple's preferred path, and expect it would be acceptable to both consumers and investors. It is entirely unclear if Apple will be able to fix the problem in this time frame.Hargreaves considers the possibility that Apple will replace Touch ID with facial recognition "increasingly likely" as time passes, but "far from ideal". Echoing the thoughts of many observers, Hargreaves goes on to highlight the challenges a supposed replacement facial recognition security system would need to overcome to meet the standard of existing Touch ID, particularly with regard to authenticating Apple Pay. We believe Apple's facial recognition system solution should work from many angles and in low-light environments. However, it would not work without clear line of sight to the user's face. Even if this encompassed just 5% of login scenarios, it would mean that several times a day the new iPhone would perform worse at an elemental feature than older iPhones, which would risk pushback from consumers. Further, we do not believe facial recognition would be initially qualified as an acceptable verification method for Apple Pay. While Apple could achieve this over time, the likelihood for an initial lack of Apple Pay could adversely affect demand.Hargreaves concludes that if Apple thinks facial recognition isn't sufficient by itself for login and authentication, then a delay in the retail availability of the OLED iPhone is "very unlikely, but possible". But while the analyst believes a delay up until mid-November would not have an impact on investor expectations for the cycle, anything beyond that timeframe could have negative repercussions. Alleged leaked 'iPhone 8' glass back panel via Weibo Meanwhile, alleged leaks continue to trickle out into the social media sphere, the most recent coming today via Chinese microblogging service Weibo claiming to show an "iPhone 8" production glass panel back that has no cutout for a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Early rumors suggested Apple would relocate the sensor to the rear of the handset, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8. Apple is thought to have incorporated 3D sensing technology in the forward-facing camera of its "iPhone 8", which may perform a function in the purported facial scanning feature. Alongside the redesigned OLED iPhone, Apple is also expected to announce incremental updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Amazon's third annual "Prime Day" has just kicked off, with Amazon offering 30 hours of "epic 'day of' deals on everything you're into." Deals will change continually over the course of the next day, and Amazon is expected to offer discounts on a range of products, including Apple devices and accessories. The products that are discounted will be a surprise until each "Lightning" sale kicks off, so it's best to keep a close eye on Amazon's site if you're interested in a specific product. Some of the best deals can also sell out fast, so we won't be able to share all of the available deals, but we will update this post with any can't miss deals and we'll tweet some of the best discounts. Amazon plans to organize deals around more than 20 themes, like pet lovers, gardeners, techies, artists, and more, which should make it easy to track down the products you're looking for. Prime Day will last from July 10 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time to July 11 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Prime Day deals will be available in 13 countries, including the United States, UK, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Japan, India, France, Germany, China, Canada, Belgium, and Austria. A Prime membership is required to take advantage of the deals. Along with Amazon, many major retailers will be offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple accessories this week, including Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo. For the best prices on Apple products, make sure to check out our Deals Roundup, which has comprehensive price charts available. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner of Amazon and the other above-listed sites. When you make a purchase using one of our links, we receive a small commission, which helps keep the site running.Tag: Amazon Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple provided the third beta of iOS 11 to developers this morning, introducing a range of feature refinements, speed improvements, bug fixes, and more. In the video and the post below, we've outlined all of the more significant tweaks and changes. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Though we're on the third beta of iOS 11, there are still many bugs in the software, which is to be expected with a beta. A list of new bugs and known issues can be found in the update's release notes, and developers should read the info carefully. iOS 11 beta 3, like earlier iOS 11 betas, should only be installed on secondary device. - iPad App Switcher - When closing an app, the swipe to close gesture has been restored. Previously, it was necessary to hold down on an app and tap the "x" to close it when using the iPad's App Switcher interface. - SOS - When using Apple's emergency alert feature, an SOS that's canceled will no longer send out notifications. - Files app - OS X Server and Dropbox have been added to the Files app on the iPhone and the iPad as new Locations. - TV Providers - Comcast, Cox, AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, Time Warner Cable, and more are all listed as new providers in the TV Providers section of the Settings app in iOS 11 beta 3, and they appear to allow users to take advantage of Single sign-on. - Notification Center - There's no need to swipe a second time to see "Earlier Today" notifications in the Notification Center. All notifications are shown on the first downward swipe to get to the Lock Screen/Notification Center. In previous betas, you needed to swipe down to see unread notifications and then swipe up again to see earlier notifications. Beta 3 simplifies the Notification Center. - iCloud Messages - The syncing feature that uploads your iMessages to iCloud in iOS 11 now lets you know how many messages still need to be uploaded. - Screen Recording - When you 3D Touch the Screen Recording button in the Control Center, there's a new option to start a broadcast. Right now, the feature works like a standard screen recording and saves a video to the Camera Roll, but it could perhaps integrate with third-party apps in the future for automatic uploads. - Music - When a song is playing in the Music app, tapping the song name from the Control Center will once again open the Music app. The third beta of iOS 11 is limited to developers, but we expect Apple to release a second public beta later this week, which should be identical to the third developer beta.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to developers for testing purposes, more than two weeks after seeding the original second beta and over a month after introducing the new software at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference. The new beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. macOS High Sierra focuses on new core storage, video, and graphics technology, introducing a new Apple File System (APFS), High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) and an updated version of Metal with support for VR and external GPUs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Some apps are also gaining new features. Photos is being updated with a new sidebar that's designed to make it easier to access editing tools and albums, and there are new filters and editing options like Curves and Selective Color. Photos also supports external editing apps like Photoshop and Pixelmator, saving changes made in those apps, and it interfaces with third-party printing services. Safari is gaining speed enhancements, an option to end autoplay video, and a new feature that puts a stop to data tracking. Siri in macOS High Sierra has expanded music capabilities and a new, more natural voice, and Spotlight supports flight status information. There are also improvements to iCloud, FaceTime, Messages, and Notes. macOS High Sierra is available for both registered developers and public beta testers, and it's likely a new public beta that's identical to the third developer beta will be released later this week. Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of iOS 11 to developers for testing purposes, more than two weeks after releasing the original second beta and over a month after introducing the new update at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Registered developers can download the iOS 11 beta from Apple's Developer Center, or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed. The second iOS 11 beta included a slew of bug fixes, addressing issues that were discovered in the first beta. The third beta will also include many bug fixes, but could also focus more heavily on feature tweaks and changes. In iOS 11 beta 2, there were only a handful of changes, most notably the enabling of Do Not Disturb mode. iOS 11 introduces some design changes, including a customizable Control Center and a new Lock screen that's merged with the Notification Center. Peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments are being introduced in the Messages app, which is also gaining a new App Drawer, and there's a new Do Not Disturb feature that is designed to help drivers stay focused on the road. Siri, Photos, the Camera app, and more are also gaining significant improvements. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ARKit for developers will result in a wide range of new augmented reality apps, while a Core ML SDK will allow apps to become a whole lot smarter. iOS 11 is also the biggest update ever for the iPad, with a new Dock that introduces much improved multitasking, a Files app for better managing files, improved Apple Pencil support, a revamped App Switcher, and system-wide drag and drop. iOS 11 available for both registered developers and public beta testers. A second public beta test that's identical to the third developer beta should be released later this week. For full details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our extensive iOS 11 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums

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