posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, just three days after seeding the sixth beta of iOS 10.3 and three months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the seventh iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing significant new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest consumer-facing feature in iOS 10.3 is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts. Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, iCloud analytics options, and more. For the last few betas, there have been no additional features discovered as Apple focuses instead on bug fixes and refinements ahead of a public release. We are likely nearing the end of the beta testing period, with a release expected in the near future. Update: The seventh beta is also available for members of Apple's public beta testing program.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Just one month after Bloomberg reported that Apple is testing a new Apple TV capable of streaming high-resolution 4K video, which it said is codenamed "J105" and could launch as soon as this year, the first evidence of the rumored fifth-generation streaming box may have surfaced in developer logs. Firi Games, the developers behind arcade games Phoenix HD and Phoenix II, told us they have seen a single device identified as "AppleTV6,2" and running "tvOS 11.0" connect to Phoenix HD for Apple TV from the United States in its logs. The IP address falls within a range linked to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino. The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model. While the details could be faked, similar evidence of an iPhone 5s running iOS 7 showed up in January 2013, around nine months before the device was announced, and the timeline is appropriate if Apple is indeed testing a new Apple TV. The current Apple TV, the first to run tvOS, launched in October 2015. No other details surrounding a fifth-generation Apple TV are known at this point. In December 2015, hit-or-miss Taiwanese website DigiTimes, citing supply chain sources, claimed the next-generation Apple TV would feature a new CPU with dramatically improved performance, but that report has yet to materialize. Last quarter, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said Apple TV sales declined compared to the year-ago quarter, when the fourth-generation model launched. The product still remains something of a hobby for Apple, which reportedly shelved its rumored streaming TV service and only has its "toe in the water" with original content.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tag: Apple TV 5 Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will be flat across the front of the smartphone, and slightly curved along the left and right edges to conform with the layer of 2.5D glass that covers the display, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. "iPhone X" concept with 2.5D display by designer Gabor Balogh Yesterday, a report claimed the high-end iPhone will have a curved display, but with gentler curves than Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge. MacRumors has confirmed the report refers to a display that is slightly curved at the edges below 2.5D cover glass, meaning the display itself cannot be dramatically curved. This means the report mirrors comments from IHS Markit, which last week told us that Apple will likely "adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design." Yesterday's report said the slightly curved edges will make the iPhone sleeker, but it claimed the new design will not offer significant new functions. But a slightly expanded Multi-Touch area could result in improved gesture recognition along the edges, such as pulling up Control Center in landscape mode. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Chinese research firm TrendForce have also said they expect Apple's special edition iPhone to have 2.5D cover glass, which refers to the slightly curved glass that sits above the actual display. Apple has used 2.5D cover glass since the iPhone 6 lineup in 2014. Kuo said Apple is unlikely to adopt a fully curved display with 3D glass this year in light of mass production challenges and inadequate drop test performance. Some reports have surprisingly claimed the "iPhone 8" is not even finalized yet due to these yield rate considerations, suggesting stock could be limited at launch. Apple has been testing multiple iPhone prototypes this year as usual, including one with a more dramatically curved display, but at this point it has elected to use a mostly flat display with only slightly curved edges, based on a flexible substrate, according to sources within Apple's supply chain. The benefit of the edge-to-edge design is that it will essentially allow for an iPhone 7 Plus sized display to fit on a device that is iPhone 7 sized, which is beneficial for all sorts of reasons, such as one-handed usage and pocketability. OLED displays have many benefits over LCDs, which current iPhones use, too. The 5.8-inch display is expected to have a primary area of around 5.2 inches, while Kuo expects some of the remaining space to house virtual buttons.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: OLED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
LG's UltraFine 5K Display returned to the market earlier this month after LG made some changes to the display's shielding following the discovery that the original design left the display vulnerable to interference from Wi-Fi routers and other electronics. The issue was a bit of a black eye for Apple, considering the company recently elected to exit the display market and instead partnered with LG on the new 27-inch UltraFine 5K and its smaller sibling, the 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K. We purchased one of the original UltraFine 5K units back in December, with our model carrying a manufacturing month of November 2016 based on its serial number. LG has now provided us with a unit manufactured last month after the design revisions were put in place, and we've had a few days to compare the performance of the two units in the presence of Wi-Fi routers. In day-to-day usage, we failed to see any issues with the original model, even with an AirPort Time Capsule located just three feet from the display, inside the two-meter radius LG recommended users should keep as a minimum once the company discovered the issue. We were, however, able to induce the issue in the unit by bringing another Time Capsule into very close proximity with the rear of the display, causing it to flicker and disconnect from the host computer. The display sometimes reconnected to the computer on its own once the interference was removed, but other times it required that the Thunderbolt 3 cable be briefly unplugged or even the entire UltraFine 5K be power cycled before it would reconnect. With the revised UltraFine 5K Display in hand, we've been able to subject both displays to side-by-side testing that confirms the issue has been successfully addressed. While the issue is easily reproducible on the original model as long as the Wi-Fi router is in close enough proximity, we were unable to recreate the issue on the revised model despite extensive efforts. With Apple once again shipping the UltraFine 5K Display, new orders are currently showing in-stock availability in Apple's U.S. online store, although Personal Pickup remains unavailable. Apple's discounted pricing on the display of $974 is scheduled to run through the end of this month, at which time the display will return to its normal $1299.95 price. Apple already extended its discounted pricing on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 accessories once and it's possible the promotion could again be extended, but for those who want to make sure they receive the discounted pricing, they should be sure to order by March 31. Customers purchasing the UltraFine 5K Display, regardless of what vendor they use, should make sure they are receiving revised units to ensure they are protected from the Wi-Fi interference issue. The first three digits of the display's serial number (visible on the exterior of the box) correspond to the last digit of the year and the two-digit month of manufacture, so buyers should look for serial numbers starting with 702 or 703. Those who purchased earlier units may be eligible for repairs if their units are exhibiting the interference issue, and affected customers should contact LG or Apple for information on repair procedures. We've arranged for a repair of our affected unit through the live chat option. Once the repair request is initiated it can take a day or two to receive a shipping label and repair details, and LG tells us it can take up to 7-10 business days for the actual repair once the display has been received at the service facility.Related Roundup: Displays Tag: LG Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that its all-new retail store at the new Brickell City Centre shopping mall in Miami opens on Saturday, March 25 at 10:00 a.m. local time. Apple has four existing stores in the Miami area, but this will be the first to be located in the city's thriving downtown core. Apple Brickell City Centre will be one of three Apple retail stores to open on that day alongside new locations at Schildergasse in Cologne, Germany and Jinmao Place in Nanjing, China, which also open at 10:00 a.m. local time respectively. All three are brand new stores, not renovated or relocated ones. Brickell City Centre is a new shopping and mixed-use development in Miami's financial district. Apple's plans to open a retail store there were revealed in February 2016, and construction began shortly afterwards. The location is expected to be one of Apple's largest retail stores in Florida. Apple continues to renovate and expand a number of its stores across the United States with a new design introduced in 2015, including its relocated St. Johns Town Center store that opened March 11 in Jacksonville, Florida. Apple's Woodland Mall store in Grand Rapids, Michigan is next on the docket. The newer look often includes wider open spaces with some combination of large glass doors, touch-sensitive sequoia wood tables and shelves, seating areas for community events, large 6K resolution video screens for product marketing, indoor trees, and light boxes extending the length of the ceiling. Elsewhere in the United States, Apple's expanded Pentagon City store in the Washington D.C. area reopened on March 4, while its Danbury, Connecticut store location closed for renovations in early February.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during the week of March 20. The research firm did not say which products it expects, or the manner in which they will be announced. Following our report, some Japanese analysts have predicted that a second-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be announced next week, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The analysts are reportedly basing this prediction on supply chain information and the lack of a scheduled Apple event next week. Given that Apple usually invites the media to a launch event at least 10 days beforehand, and if the information we were provided about Apple announcing new products as early as next week is accurate, it is possible the so-called "iPad Pro 2" could be announced via press release rather than at a launch event. A press release could be an appropriate manner for Apple to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, given that rumors suggest it will be an iterative upgrade. One of the only rumored additions to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is quad microphones, while Mac Otakara suggests it could have a faster Apple A10X chip. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro this year, likely with its current Apple A9X chip. He did not mention an entirely new 9.7-inch model. If the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is essentially only getting a price cut, then a press release as early as next week would be fitting. Apple similarly issued a press release when it dropped the price of the fourth-generation iPad to $399 in March 2014. Apple's current low-cost 9.7-inch model, the iPad Air 2, starts at $399, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599. Beyond the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple is rumored to launch an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the near future. A few reports claim a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro could also be released, but some analysts disagree and do not expect the iPad mini 4 to be updated. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have slimmer bezels, and there is a slim chance it will have no Home button, allowing it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This design could foreshadow the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone. The tablet is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones. The updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment. While it is becoming clear that new iPads are on the horizon, Apple's exact launch plans remain convoluted. If Apple still plans to host an event later this month as one increasingly unlikely rumor said, it would most likely fall between Monday, March 27 and Friday, March 31, given the 10-plus-day buffer for inviting the media. At this event, the rumor said Apple will unveil its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, and new Apple Watch bands. The report also claimed Apple will add a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could be part of its charitable (PRODUCT)RED campaign. Of course, the event could be later. Taiwanese website DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration of Apple's new headquarters in California," but it is unlikely that the supply chain sources cited would know this specific information. It is also unclear if Steve Jobs Theater would be ready for an April event, as Apple indicated it opens "later this year" while employees start moving to the new campus next month. The latest drone footage by Duncan Sinfield shows that the theater is still under construction and surrounded by mounds of dirt. Steve Jobs Theater is shown around the 1:45 mark Apple could hold an event elsewhere, or even wait until WWDC 2017 in June. Or, just like a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a red iPhone 7, 128GB iPhone SE, and new Apple Watch bands could certainly be announced by press release or an update to Apple's website in the meantime.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: macotakara.jp Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone will feature a curved OLED display, although the curvature will be gentler than Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge, according to Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor BaloghThe curve will be gentler than screens in Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. This is partly due to the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens, according to the source. While the curved screen will allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches and make the iPhone even sleeker, it will not offer significant new functions, the person said.The report comes just a few days after research firm IHS Markit said it "anticipates Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design." KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Chinese research firm TrendForce previously said they expect the premium iPhone to have 2.5D cover glass, which refers to the slightly curved front glass that iPhones have had since the iPhone 6 in 2014. A "gently" curved display could perhaps conform to this design. The report cites a source that said Apple "would not be using OLED optimally" if it opted for a flat display like existing iPhone models, but it cautioned that the design has not been finalized and could still change. It added that the curved screen will "allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches," although it said it will not offer significant new functions. Kuo expects the high-end iPhone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable screen space, but he said some of the remaining space will be reserved for virtual buttons. The Wall Street Journal recently said Apple's next high-end iPhone will have a curved screen, but the report did not divulge any specific details. The Korea Herald also said the device will have a curved OLED display using a flexible plastic substrate, rather than a flat display based on glass. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: nikkei.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
From November 2016 through January 2017, iOS devices accounted for 42 percent of smartphone sales in the United States, growing 2.9 percentage points year-over-year thanks to iPhone sales over the holidays. According to new data released by Kantar Worldpanel, the same period saw a decline for Android smartphones, which still captured the largest share of the market at 56.4 percent in the United States, but was down 1.8 percentage points from the same three month period last year. A similar growth for iOS and decline for Android -- likely due to the Note7 -- was noted by Kantar in a report focusing on OS market shares ahead of the holiday season. In today's findings, Kantar noted that as iOS and Android continue to battle it out in every market, "no other ecosystem is challenging the two giants." Some re-emerging brands catalyzed nostalgic spending for consumers -- including the Nokia 3310 and BlackBerry KEYone -- but their reliance on Android's OS instead of their own legacy OS helped boost Android's market shares. Gone are the days when a BlackBerry OS, Symbian, or Windows Mobile could make a significant impact. It is clear that there will only be two smartphone ecosystems moving forward – iOS and Android. To succeed, phone manufacturers will have to play by those rulebooks. Kantar noted that the iPhone 7 continues to be a top seller in large markets, particularly in Great Britain, France, and Germany. In total, iOS made gains across most regions excluding Japan, Spain, and China. In China specifically, iOS saw its largest year-over-year decline of 8.4 percentage points, knocking its market share down to 16.6 percent below Android's 83.2 percent. Kantar noted that while the iPhone 7 is the top-selling smartphone in China as well, increased competition from local vendors Oppo and Vivo contribute to Apple's continued yearly declines in the country. iOS saw its biggest growth in the three months ending January 2017 in France, increasing 4.9 percentage points year-over-year to capture 24.2 of the smartphone OS market share in the country. In all of Europe's five big markets -- Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain -- iOS had a 22.7 percent market share, an increase of 2.4 percentage points from the same period last year. Like in the U.S., Android remains dominant in Europe at 74.3 percent of the smartphone market. A redesigned "iPhone 8" will help boost Apple's share of the market when it launches later this year, although recent rumors suggest that the tenth anniversary iPhone might launch much later than more iterative 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch "iPhone 7s" devices in September. When it does, the all-new iPhone is predicted to include an edge-to-edge OLED display, lack a traditional Home Button, and potentially have wireless charging capabilities.Tag: Kantar Worldpanel Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
With the iPhone 8 set to receive a major redesign that is rumored to add an edge-to-edge display, eliminate the home button, and introduce some sort of touch bar-style feature, it's no surprise that we're seeing dozens of concept images and mockups imagining what such a device might look like. Back in February, we rounded up some of the best iPhone concepts, but designers and artists have been creating new mockups on a regular basis, so this is part two in the concept series. These concepts don't reflect the actual design of the iPhone 8, but it's fun to imagine what we might see this fall. Designer Gabor Balogh has dreamed up a detailed "iPhone X" with an edge-to-edge display and a virtual home button that powers an augmented reality Siri feature. A space around the virtual home button displays dynamic smart functions that change with each app. The way the edge-to-edge display is imagined is perhaps the best part of the concept, as we don't know if AR or advanced Siri features are coming in the iPhone 8. UX designer Vianney le Masne imagined an iPhone 8 "without borders" that incorporates iOS 11 and a highly desired feature, dark mode. It has an edge-to-edge display but leaves a top bar in place for the camera. The darker-themed UI is definitely the most interesting part of this idea. An iPhone 8 concept video by Arthur Reis shared by ConceptsiPhone features a device with a nearly edge-to-edge display that continues to have thin bezels, a small indent for a home button, dual cameras, and a glass body. It imagines fantastical non-rumored features like a "hover-sensitive screen," dual front-facing cameras, and an "AirCharger" for long-range wireless charging. There's an ad included from a sponsor in the video at 1:42, so skip ahead to 2:20 to avoid it and see the full conceptual design. A second ConceptsiPhone video created by Sahanan Yogarasa imagines an iPhone 8 that has an edge-to-edge display at the sides but continues to have top and bottom bezels. A circular camera area is on the back, and it imagines several new colors, including a dark blue, a red, and a copper shade. This probably isn't what the iPhone 8 will look like, especially the camera area, but the color choices are interesting. Designer AlHasan Husni has also imagined an iPhone 8 that incorporates a dark mode and a screen that wraps around the edges of the device slightly, incorporating rumors of a curved display. More recent rumors have suggested the iPhone 8 will have a standard 2.5D display and no curved edges. Over the course of the next couple months, we'll likely start to see our first part leaks for the iPhone 8, which will give us a better idea of what to expect from Apple's 10th anniversary device. Part leaks will help narrow down some of the questions we have about the device, such as its specific size (rumored to be 5.8 inches), the curve of the display (supposed to be similar to the iPhone 7), and the design of the two more affordable devices that are rumored to be accompanying the higher-end OLED iPhone 8. For full details on what to expect from the 2017 iPhone based on the rumors that have been circulating about the device, make sure to check out our extensive and detailed iPhone 8 roundup.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Concepts Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
In 1976, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak designed and built the Apple I, or Apple-1, the company's first computer. Of the 175 sold, only 50 to 60 or so remain in existence, including just eight functioning ones, making the iconic machine a rare collector's item worth significantly more than its original $666.66 price. On May 20, German auctioneer Breker told MacRumors it will be auctioning off one of those eight functioning Apple-1 computers, complete with the original manual and documentation, the receipt for the motherboard and cassette recorder, and even a record of telephone conversations with Steve Jobs and Wozniak. Based on previous Apple-1 auctions over the years, this latest machine is likely to fetch several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Breker said it auctioned an Apple-1 in comparable original and working condition for $671,400 in May 2013, while a functioning Apple-1 sold for $374,500 at a Sotheby's action in New York in June 2012. More recently, a functioning Apple-1 sold for a record $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York in October 2014, while another working machine went for $365,000 at a Christie's auction in New York two months later. CharityBuzz auctioned a unique "Celebration" model for $815,000 last year. The Apple-1 was a motherboard kit only and is pictured here with the rare original "NTI" sign. Apple never offered an external housing for the computer, and the peripheral equipment, such as the power supply, keyboard, monitor, and cassette recorder, had to be obtained personally by the owner.Tag: Apple-1 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to unveil its rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an event set to be held in early April to "mark the inauguration" of its Apple Park campus, reports Taiwanese site DigiTimes citing supply chain sources. DigiTimes previously said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro would not be available until May or June, but now claims Apple has "moved ahead the production" of the rumored tablet. Over the past few weeks, we've heard a lot of speculation about when Apple will debut the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and its sister tablet(s). Rumors originally suggested the company would hold an event in March, but that has been in question as it is nearly mid-month with no hint of an event. Earlier today, a reliable supply chain source told MacRumors that Apple would announce products later this month, likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24. There was also a rumor circulating suggesting Apple would hold an event on April 4, but that was incorrectly based on an erroneous interpretation of Personal Pickup dates for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. While we haven't yet nailed down a specific timeline for the unveiling of new iPads, the prospective launch window is narrowing and rumors suggest we're going to see them within the next month. Just today, new iPad models were spotted in device logs gathered by Fiksu, suggesting a release is indeed on the horizon. Fiksu, like our unnamed supply chain source and DigiTimes, believes a launch is imminent. If an event takes place in April, it could potentially be held at Apple's new campus, Apple Park, but there's one snag in that plan. Apple is going to open the campus in April, but the company's press release said the auditorium where events will be held, now dubbed the Steve Jobs Theater, will open "later this year." The wording makes it unclear if the theater will be ready for Apple Park's grand opening, and thus ready for an event. According to today's report from DigiTimes, Apple plans to target the education and business sectors with both the rumored 10.5-inch iPad and a refreshed 12.9-inch model, which the site says will be Apple's "mainstream products" for the mid-tier to high-end tablet market in 2017. While DigiTimes believes the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will now see an April debut, the site says the production schedule for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro "still remains unclear" with volume production perhaps delayed until May or June. Rumors suggest that the new 12.9-inch iPad will feature a modest refresh, but the 10.5-inch model is rumored to have a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge display and a body that's actually the same size as the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. There have also been rumors suggesting Apple plans to release a lower-end 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a 7.9-inch model, but whether those rumors are true remains to be seen as the focus has mainly been on Apple's larger upcoming tablets.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared a new advertisement on its YouTube channel, this time designed to promote both the iPhone 7 and the iMessages sticker feature that was introduced in iOS 10. The video features people running around putting a variety of bright, animated stickers on objects, food, other people, and more, mimicking the kind of stickers that are available on iOS. "Say it with stickers on the iPhone 7," reads the tagline at the end of the video. The video's description also includes a link where all of the stickers used in the ad spot can be downloaded. A huge number of sticker packs are featured, including those from indie artists and those from major companies like Disney. Introduced in iOS 10, sticker packs are part of the Messages App Store, which lets developers create apps that can be used in iMessages. Stickers can be resized, put on top of chat bubbles, added on photos, or stuck on top of other stickers, with simple controls for dragging. While Apple has promoted other Messages features available in iOS 10, this is its first ad spot that focuses primarily on stickers, which still don't seem to have caught on with iPhone users.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tags: iMessage, stickers Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Multiple new iPad models are being tested in Cupertino and the nearby Bay Area, potentially confirming rumors suggesting several refreshed iPads are launching in the near future. New iPad model identifiers have been spotted in device data collected by mobile marketing company Fiksu and were shared by TechCrunch this morning. Four identifiers have been popping up in data logs, but that doesn't necessarily correspond to four new devices as WiFi and WiFi + Cellular iPads historically have different model numbers. Fiksu believes the numbers correspond to between two and four new iPads. Below are the iPad identifiers that have been found along with their corresponding count, as provided by Fiksu. Only a small number of visits have been seen, which Fiksu says is "about the same number we see being tested about a month before release." - iPad 7,1 - 17 - iPad 7,2 - 11 - iPad 7,3 - 5 - iPad 7,4 - 10 These identifiers are similar to identifiers for existing iPad Pro models, which are as follows: - 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7 - 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8 - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3 - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4 At the very least, the presence of these identifiers suggests there are a minimum of two new iPad models in the works, in line with rumors suggesting Apple is working on both a revamped 10.5-inch iPad Pro that will effectively replace the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch model. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a nearly bezel-free edge-to-edge display that allows Apple to fit a larger screen in the same 9.7-inch form factor, and it is said to include an A10X processor and Touch ID built directly into the display. Rumors sourced from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested there are supposed to be three new models on the horizon, including a 12.9-inch tablet, a lower-cost 9.7-inch tablet (priced as low as $299), and the flagship 10.5-inch tablet, while Japanese site Mac Otakara has claimed Apple could be working on four iPads, the three mentioned by Kuo along with a 7.9-inch iPad mini Pro model. Though Fiksu is seeing only four identifiers, it's possible additional iPads are in development but haven't been found in device logs as of yet. On the other hand, it potentially indicates we're going to get a new 10.5-inch model and a new 12.9-inch model, with no new iPad mini or refreshed lower-end 9.7-inch model. This scenario doesn't fit Mac Otakara's prediction, but should Apple lower the price of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, it does fit in with what Kuo has predicted. Apple's new iPads could debut as soon as later this month, according to supply chain analysts who shared the information with MacRumors this morning. Apple may be planning an event or a release for late March, perhaps even as early as next week.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers, just under one week after seeding the fifth macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta and over a month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.3. The sixth macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who have previously installed a beta. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. First introduced on iOS devices with iOS 9.3, Night Shift is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is said to disrupt the circadian rhythm and is believed to interrupt sleeping patterns. Night Shift can be activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually through the Notification Center or via Siri. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The 10.12.4 update focuses mainly on Night Shift, but also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, just under one week after seeding the fifth beta of iOS 10.3 and three months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the sixth iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing significant new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest consumer-facing feature in iOS 10.3 is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts. Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, iCloud analytics options, and more. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is expected to announce new products later this month, most likely between Monday, March 20 and Friday, March 24, according to reputable supply chain analysts we spoke to who wish to remain anonymous. The analysts said the information is from its own sources and not based on other reports. The research firm did not disclose which products it expects Apple to announce, but rumors have widely suggested at least a trio of new iPad Pro models will be unveiled as early as this month, including an all-new 10.5-inch model with slimmer bezels and updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. The sources expecting an iPad refresh include, among others, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, and Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The latter of the three also expects a new 7.9-inch model that would supplant the iPad mini 4, but others have denied or yet to mention that particular claim. Last month, Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will host a March event where it will debut its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, and new Apple Watch bands. The report also claimed Apple will add a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could be part of (PRODUCT)RED. Apple has yet to invite the media to an event this month, however, and those invites would be on shorter notice than usual if it is indeed planning to announce new products this way as early as next week. In each of the past two years, Apple invited the media to its March event roughly 11-12 days beforehand, including February 26 invites for a March 9 event in 2015 and March 10 invites for a March 21 event last year. There are three plausible scenarios if new products are in the cards: Apple is planning a March event, and invites will go out soon; Apple is planning a Spring event, but not this month; or Apple will share its announcements through a press release as it did when it dropped the price of the fourth-generation iPad to $399 in March 2014. Apple has hosted March events four times in the past six years. In 2011 and 2012, it introduced new iPad models at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In 2015, it revealed Apple Watch pricing and release date information. Last year, Apple debuted the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPhone SE at its Town Hall. One rumor suggested Apple could be planning an event on April 4, but this date was based on Personal Pickup for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is generally not a reliable indicator of an event. The in-store pickup date for 12.9-inch iPad Pro models is a rolling target, as evidenced by the April 10 date now shown. The all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have slimmer bezels, and possibly no Home button, allowing it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. This design could foreshadow the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone. The tablet is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones. The updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment. A few reports have suggested the 10.5-inch iPad Pro could face shipping delays, while the other models are expected to start shipping sooner. Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SE Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is widely expected to launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display later this year, made possible by slimmer bezels and no Home button. And while some reports have claimed the screen will be curved, a growing number of sources expect the device to stick with a flat display. "We anticipate Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design," IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam, who researches and analyzes the supply chain of smartphone makers such as Apple, told MacRumors today. "Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety. This new design language is expected to become the trend for 2017, as we all anticipate Samsung's reveal later this month," he added. Lam is referring to the LG G6's 5.7-inch LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, meaning the screen's length is double the size of its width. iPhones have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Likewise, leaked pictures of Samsung's Galaxy S8 reveal a similarly longer display with slim bezels and no physical home button. Last month, he explained how the LG G6 achieves a large screen while remaining holdable and pocketable:LG’s G6 is a study in creating large immersive screen designs that do not break the ergonomic requirements of the average human hand. By addressing dueling consumer demands for larger screens but yet more pocketable device, LG took on the challenge of re-imagining what a modern smartphone should look like and function ergonomically.KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Chinese research firm TrendForce have also recently said they expect Apple's next flagship iPhone to have a 2.5D display, which refers to the slightly curved edges that iPhone displays have had since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. The Wall Street Journal recently said Apple's next high-end iPhone will have a curved screen, but the report did not divulge any specific details. The Korea Herald also said the device will have a curved OLED display based on a flexible plastic substrate, rather than glass, which is typically used for flat displays. Kuo and IHS Markit analyst Kevin Wang previously expected the 5.8-inch iPhone to have a curved screen, possibly with dual curved edges like the Galaxy S7 edge, but each source has since reversed course, which is understandable given Apple has reportedly tested at least ten different iPhone prototypes this year. Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review and Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis have also outlined expectations for an iPhone with a curved display in the past, so there is clearly a divide between the rumors that might not clear up until "iPhone 8" part leaks likely begin to surface over the coming weeks and months. One possibility is that reports calling for a "curved" screen are actually referring to the 2.5D cover glass, as seen in previous iPhone rumor cycles. Also, given the flexible properties of OLED, some reports might be simply assuming the next iPhone will have a curved display, when a flat design is still an option. IHS Markit expects Apple to use OLED on a larger number of iPhone models in the future. Lam noted the longer aspect ratio will afford Apple new uses of the display, such as Touch Bar-like functionality. He also expects the 5.8-inch iPhone to have Touch ID embedded in the display, in line with previous rumors.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: IHS Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
AT&T today introduced a new GoPhone prepaid plan with unlimited talk, text, and data at a max speed of 3 Mbps for $65 per month, or $60 with AutoPay enabled. However, unlike AT&T's new $90 Unlimited Plus plan with up to 10GB of 4G LTE tethering, the GoPhone plan does not include Mobile Hotspot capabilities. Each line that exceeds 22GB of data usage may experience reduced speeds to a max of 128 Kbps on that line for the remainder of the 30-day term, but only at times and in areas where there is network congestion, which is similar to 22GB and 23GB soft cap policies from Verizon and Sprint respectively. T-Mobile this week raised its own deprioritization threshold to 30GB, up from a previous minimum of 28GB, as spotted by TmoNews. A cheaper GoPhone plan is available for $45 per month, or $40 with AutoPay, and includes unlimited talk, text, and up to 6GB of data at a max speed of 3 Mbps. After 6GB, data speeds are slowed to a max of 128 kbps for rest of the 30-day term. Unused data rolls over to the next month. No tethering is included. Both plans have Stream Saver mode enabled by default, which reduces streaming video to 1.5 Mbps or around 480p quality, but it can be turned off through AT&T's website to stream video in HD quality. Both plans also include talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico at no additional charge. The new GoPhone plans are ideal for customers that do not need tethering and are looking to avoid credit checks, activation fees, and deposits, but otherwise AT&T's new Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice plans and competing options are worth considering for better features or value. AT&T's pricing includes monthly access charges, but the plans are not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. Comparatively, Verizon Unlimited starts at $80 per month, Sprint Unlimited starts at $50 per month for a limited time, and T-Mobile ONE, which includes all taxes and fees, starts at $70 per month. The new prepaid plans appear to be available immediately, but AT&T has yet to update its GoPhone website. Additional lines can be added to each plan, with multi-line discounts ranging between $5 and $20 per month.Tags: T-Mobile, AT&T, unlimited data Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has topped Laptop Mag's Tech Support Showdown list for the third year in a row, receiving praise as "the best tech support in the business," and beating out nine other computer-making companies in the process. Laptop Mag said that its list is aimed at helping customers see who has the most reliable and clear customer service in the tech industry. To conduct the research, the magazine sent reporters undercover to make calls, query support chat online, and ask questions on social media, and accumulated data on the following top ten notebook makers: Apple, Microsoft, Acer, Razer, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Samsung, and MSI. Each company was given a grade on a 100-point scale, and Laptop Mag weighted 60 points towards online support and 40 points toward phone support. For Apple's winning spot, the company received a 56 for its web support score and a 37 for its phone support score, resulting in an overall mark of 93 for the Cupertino company's tech support in 2017. Laptop Mag went more in-depth about its experience with Apple support in various forms, discussing a six minute response time from the @AppleSupport Twitter account and a positive, snappy experience with the new Apple Support iOS app. The site also put Apple to the test by calling three separate customer service reps to test their knowledge of the newest changes to macOS and the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. Call 1: Hayley then instructed me to disable iCloud Drive, and explained how to keep a local copy of the files. During the 2 minutes it took to download the files, I chatted with Hayley about the weather down in Florida, as he was positive and easy to talk to. At the end of our chat, I asked if there was some way to turn iCloud Desktop and Documents off without disabling iCloud Drive. Hayley said there was not, which is, unfortunately, not the case. The call took 8 minutes in total. Call 2: My next call connected me to Frank in Oregon, who explained that the physical fn key makes the Touch Bar show the Function keys. Frank also showed me how to set specific apps to use the Function keys in the Touch Bar, and he needed to place me on hold to ask colleagues if I could do the same for Finder. After telling me that there was no such option, Frank directed me to a feedback page where I could ask Apple to add this option in a future version. In total, the call took 15 minutes, but Frank solved my main question in only 3 minutes. Call 3: My last call connected me with the upbeat and chipper Letasha, who showed me the icon in the dock and menu bar that you click to activate Siri. Before we concluded, Letasha explained how to change the keyboard command used to start Siri. The call lasted 7 minutes. On average, it took Apple's reps 6 minutes per call to get answers — a minute less than its time last year. Ultimately, Laptop Mag noted that while the customer service reps might have a few spots of incorrect knowledge about Apple's software and hardware, they still "provided solutions in a speedy and positive manner." While Apple's web score was unrivaled at 56, the company's phone score of 37 was beat out by Acer at 38 points. In total, Acer came in second with a total score of 88 points, making it the "top-rated Windows PC vendor for support" and gaining ground on Apple's number one spot. If Apple wants to improve its support, it should ensure support techs learn about all of the new features so that they can give completely accurate answers to questions on topics such as iCloud Documents. Its Twitter account could also improve by providing answers directly, instead of linking to posts where the content is found. Overall, though, Apple offers the best support of any laptop manufacturer, as it has for many years. Last November, Apple won the "Gold" #Customer award for its helpful responses from @AppleSupport on Twitter. According to Twitter, Apple ranked #1 among support accounts for average engagements and average engagements for followers, racking up 150,000 likes and retweets since its launch in March 2016. On Twitter, users can ask Apple questions between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and the company's support team normally responds within a few minutes. Although Laptop Mag said that it didn't award Apple "any points for finally creating a Twitter support account," the site noted that it's one of the best parts of Apple's expansive customer support system and it applauded "the team running that account for the timely, helpful replies." Check out Laptop Mag's full report on Apple's customer service performance right here.Tag: Apple Support Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
For years, Apple has sent new Genius hires to its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, or sometimes an auxiliary campus in Austin or Atlanta, to receive hands-on training for up to three weeks. Recently, however, Apple appears to have stopped offering these group-based trips, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple's off-site Genius Training program has been replaced by an in-store, self-guided experience using company-provided reference materials, according to a source. The training now involves watching web-based seminars through the Apple Technical Learning Administration System, or ATLAS, another source said. At its Cupertino headquarters, Apple had a small training facility with a mock Genius Bar and Macs set aside specifically for trainees to take apart and perform test repairs on. But with the switch to web-based seminars, Apple is allegedly providing "virtual take aparts" only now, with no physical hardware. "This means that many customers who check their computers in for repair may have their device serviced by someone who has never physically worked on their model of computer before," said a person familiar with the matter. A handful of Geniuses have shared photos of their training experience on social networks over the years, with one person calling it a "life-changing experience" and others echoing similar positivity. One source described it to us as a "rite of passage" and "a milestone in the career" of an Apple retail employee.Apple's Genius Training program was for years a rite of passage for Apple Retail employees: not only a training opportunity, but a chance to visit one of Apple's corporate campuses, to get questions answered at the source, and, for those who headed to Cupertino, to experience Silicon Valley and the Apple culture. The traditional "selfie" in front of One Infinite Loop was a milestone in the career of every Apple Genius.Apple Store managers have been quietly informing new Genius hires of the changes in recent weeks. It is unclear if the off-site training is permanently discontinued, or if it could return to Infinite Loop or Apple's new campus in the future. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last year, we revealed a new Apple retail position called Technical Expert, which falls between Technical Specialist and Genius. These employees are able to provide mobile repairs, a task previously limited to Geniuses, and troubleshooting for software and products like the Apple Watch and Apple TV.Tag: Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Reuters published an article on Thursday that reveals some of the painstaking work that goes into making Siri capable of speaking additional languages, which remains one of its biggest strengths over rival virtual assistants. The behind-the-scenes look appears amid claims that Apple has squandered its lead in the voice-assistant space, with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all advancing the features of their respective assistants recently. But for a smartphone market in which most sales are outside the U.S., Siri's big advantage over the other assistants is underlined in the number of languages it can speak. Microsoft is said to have an editorial team of 29 people who work to customize Cortana for local markets, while Google and Amazon say they plan to add more languages soon. But it's a game of catch-up: Apple already has 21 languages, localized for 36 countries. That compares favorably to Microsoft's Cortana (eight), Google Assistant (four), and Amazon's Alexa (two). At Apple, the company starts working on a new language by bringing in humans to read passages in a range of accents and dialects, which are then transcribed by hand so the computer has an exact representation of the spoken text to learn from, said Alex Acero, head of the speech team at Apple. Apple also captures a range of sounds in a variety of voices. From there, a language model is built that tries to predict words sequences. Then Apple deploys “dictation mode,” its text-to-speech translator, in the new language, Acero said. When customers use dictation mode, Apple captures a small percentage of the audio recordings and makes them anonymous. The recordings, complete with background noise and mumbled words, are transcribed by humans, a process that helps cut the speech recognition error rate in half.Once the required amount of data has been gathered and a voice actor has recorded the Siri responses in a new language, Siri is released with answers to what Apple believes will be the most common questions. Siri then learns more about what users ask, with additional tweaks made via updates every two weeks. The drawback to Apple's script-writing approach is that it does not scale, according to Charles Jolley, creator of an intelligent assistant named Oslo. "You can't hire enough writers to come up with the system you'd need in every language. You have to synthesize the answers," he told Reuters. "That's years off." But it's something the founders of Viv – Siri's original creators – are actively working on. "Viv was built to specifically address the scaling issue for intelligent assistants," said Dag Kittlaus, the CEO and co-founder of Viv, which was acquired by Samsung last year. "The only way to leapfrog today's limited functionality versions is to open the system up and let the world teach them." Consumers should soon get a taste of how far they've come. Viv technology will power Bixby, Samsung's new virtual assistant, set to feature in the Galaxy S8, which launches at the end of this month.Tag: Siri Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently updated its online store for refurbished products to add the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar, which was originally released in October of 2016. There are a limited number of models available for purchase with various processor, storage, RAM configurations. Prices are discounted by up to $390, with Apple offering 12 to 16 percent off depending on a machine's configuration. Only higher-end models with upgraded processors, RAM, and storage are available at the current time, but earlier today, at least one lower-end machine was available for purchase. Apple's refurbished stock fluctuates often, so if you're hoping to get a specific configuration, it's best to keep a close eye on the refurbished store. 13 and 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar are not currently available from Apple's refurbished site, but could be added soon based on the availability of the non-Touch Bar model. All of Apple's refurbished products go through a rigorous refurbishment process before being offered for sale, which includes inspection, repairs, cleaning, and repackaging. Refurbished Macs come with a one-year warranty that can be extended with an AppleCare purchase. For more tips on purchasing a refurbished product, make sure to check out our dedicated guide. (Thanks, Nick!)Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, Apple Deals Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Imagination Technologies today announced PowerVR Furian, its next-generation GPU architecture that promises significant improvements in graphics performance and power efficiency that could benefit future iPhones. PowerVR Furian architecture will offer up to a 70-90% improvement in real-world gaming performance by density, including 35% better shader performance and 80% better fill rate, compared to a similar sized and clocked Series7XT Plus GPU based on current-generation PowerVR Rogue architecture. Meanwhile, with lower power consumption, an iPhone with PowerVR Furian architecture could have longer battery life for graphics-related tasks. Imagination Technologies confirmed to MacRumors that PowerVR Furian architecture supports 4K graphics, laying the foundation for future iPhone models to support higher-resolution gaming and other graphics-intensive tasks such as augmented or virtual reality and machine learning.“We created Furian to address a new class of emerging applications, with a focus on efficient scalability that will extend to multiple generations of PowerVR IP cores. We’re excited to start rolling out the first 8XT IP cores based on Furian. These cores will further cement the leadership of PowerVR at the high end of mobile performance.”Apple's graphics chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a custom-designed version of the Series7XT Plus, and many earlier iPhone models are also based on PowerVR Rogue architecture, so it is reasonable to assume that future iPhone models may use at least some of the PowerVR Furian architecture. Imagination Technologies said the first GPUs based on PowerVR Furian, such as the Series8XT, will be announced in mid 2017, but don't expect the architecture to power the so-called "iPhone 8" this year. Imagination noted Furian-based mobile devices might not arrive until the end of 2018 at the earliest. Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in Imagination Technologies since at least 2008. The two companies have worked closely together over the years, with Apple being a key investor in the England-based chip designer since it raised its stake in the company to roughly 10% in 2009. Apple was actually rumored to acquire Imagination Technologies last year, but it later said it did not plan to make an offer at the time. Nevertheless, in recent months, Apple has recruited at least two dozen employees from the chip designer, including former COO John Metcalfe, possibly to build out an in-house GPU team.Tags: Imagination Technologies, PowerVR Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, just over one week after seeding the fourth beta of iOS 10.3 and almost three months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the fifth iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing several new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest new consumer-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts. Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, iCloud analytics options, and more. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may call the 2017 iPhone 8, rumored to be announced alongside the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus at a September event, the "iPhone Edition," according to a new report from Japanese website Mac Otakara. The name would reportedly signal that the phone is a higher end model, similar to how Apple names the Apple Watch Edition. The "Edition" moniker lines up with reports that the model could cost upwards of $1,000. The report goes on to note that Apple is currently testing multiple prototypes alongside the iPhone 8. The prototypes experiment with screen technology and materials, with some prototypes using an LCD display while others use AMOLED. The prototypes are also in testing with and without home buttons. Further, Apple is using them to test glass, aluminum and white ceramic chassis. Apple is trying to gauge which materials and technologies they can procure at mass scale for production, according to Mac Otakara. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Nikkei and the Wall Street Journal have reported the iPhone 8 will feature an OLED screen, while the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch lower-end models will sport LCD displays. Mac Okatara says the only features Apple is reportedly certain of are a 5-inch display, wireless charging and dual cameras. The 5-inch display Mac Otakara is referring to is the usable space on the display. The iPhone 8 is expected to utilize an edge-to-edge display that puts a 5.8-inch display in a handset roughly the size of a 4.7-inch iPhone. 5.15 inches of the 5.8-inch display will be usable. The difference will be used for a wide row of virtual buttons. The Cupertino company is also expected to announce a more standard 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus alongside the "iPhone Edition." According to Mac Otakara, while those two models are expected to launch in September, the "iPhone Edition" may not launch until well after that.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: macotakara.jp Discuss this article in our forums

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