posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Sonos today announced that its One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5 speakers now support AirPlay 2, as promised. This marks the first time Sonos speakers have supported AirPlay in general, enabling users to easily stream audio from iTunes on Mac, and virtually any app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, including Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Hulu, Pandora, and Netflix, to compatible Sonos speakers over Wi-Fi. AirPlay allows for Siri control of Apple Music or Podcasts playback on compatible Sonos speakers via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, HomePod, and Apple TV. For example, one could say "Hey Siri, play Beats 1 Radio in the bedroom," after the speaker is named and assigned to a room in Apple's Home app on iOS. AirPlay 2 in particular enables multi-room audio playback for Sonos speakers paired with other Sonos speakers, HomePod, or Apple TVs. Sonos speakers appear in the AirPlay Picker within apps and Control Center on iOS devices. Sonos said its older speakers do not support AirPlay 2 on their own due to processor limitations, but in the Sonos app, they can be paired with any of the aforementioned speakers to enable support for Apple's new protocol. An older Playbar paired with a Playbase, for example, works with AirPlay 2. Sonos initially held out on adding AirPlay compatibility to its speakers in part due to minor latency issues addressed by AirPlay 2. Apple first enabled AirPlay 2 in iOS 11.4, released in late May. Sonos is the first third-party speaker maker to support the protocol, to be followed by Beoplay, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, Naim, and others. AirPlay 2 support is available through a free software update via the Sonos Controller companion app on the App Store.Tags: Sonos, AirPlay 2Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
"Game of Thrones" star Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo in the well-known HBO series, has been cast in the lead role in Apple's upcoming futuristic drama series "See," reports Variety. "See" has been described as an epic world-building drama set in the future, with little additional information available on the series at this time. Momoa will play the role of Baba Voss, a "fearless warrior, leader and guardian." Image via HBO Known for his role as Khal Drogo in the first season of "Game of Thrones," Momoa also stars in "Aquaman," coming out later this year. He's also had roles in "Justice League," "Braven," "Once Upon a Time in Venice," "Stargate Atlantis," and "Conan the Barbarian." "See" was written by "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight and it will be directed by Francis Lawrence, known for his work on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay." "See" is just one more than a dozen original television shows that Apple has in the works. It's not clear when the first of Apple's TV series will launch, but rumors have suggested the shows could start debuting in March 2019. Apple is said to be considering launching a new streaming video service, which could potentially be bundled with an Apple Music subscription and a digital magazine and new subscription.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation this week charged former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang with theft of trade secrets, according to documents filed with the Northern District Court of California. Zhang was hired at Apple in December of 2015 to work on Project Titan, developing software and hardware for use in autonomous vehicles. Zhang specifically worked on Apple's Compute Team, designing and testing circuit boards to analyze sensor data. The intellectual property disclosure on one of the documents Zhang stole He was provided with "broad access to secure and confidential internal databases" due to his position, which contained trade secrets and intellectual property for the autonomous driving project that he ultimately ended up stealing. In April 2018, Zhang took family leave from Apple following the birth of his child, and during that time, he visited China. Shortly after, he told his supervisor at Apple he was leaving the company and moving to China to work for XMotors, a Chinese startup that also focuses on autonomous vehicle technology. Zhang's supervisor felt that he had "been evasive" during the meeting, which led Apple's New Product Security Team to begin an investigation, looking into Zhang's historical network activity and analyzing his Apple devices, which were seized when he resigned. Apple found that just prior to Zhang's departure, his network activity had "increased exponentially" compared to the prior two years he had worked at Apple. He accessed content that included prototypes and prototype requirements, which the court documents specify as power requirements, low voltage requirements, battery system, and drivetrain suspension mounts.The majority of his activity consisted of both bulk searches and targeted downloading copious pages of information from various confidential database applications. The information contained within the downloading contained trade secret intellectual property, based on the level of Zhang's access within Apple's autonomous vehicle team.A review of recorded footage at Apple indicated Zhang had visited the campus on the evening of Saturday, April 28, entering both Apple's autonomous vehicle software and hardware labs, which coincided with data download times, and he left with a box of hardware. In a second interview with Apple's security team, Zhang admitted to taking both online data and hardware (a Linux server and circuit boards) from Apple during his paternity leave. He also admitted to AirDropping sensitive content from his own device to his wife's laptop. All of Apple's evidence was relayed to the FBI after the company's Digital Forensic Investigations team discovered that at least 60 percent of the data Zhang had downloaded and transferred to his wife's computer was "highly problematic." The FBI, in the court filing, describes the information as "largely technical in nature, including engineering schematics, technical reference manuals, and technical reports." Of interest, the filing also gives a glimpse into Apple's security protocols. To access sensitive projects like Titan, an employee must be logged into Apple's virtual private network and must be granted "disclosure," a status that can only be granted when an employee is sponsored by another employee who already has access to the project, with an administrator reviewing all requests. Approximately 5,000 Apple employees have access to data on Apple's autonomous driving efforts, with the databases Zhang accessed further restricted to approximately 2,700 "core employees." When hired, Zhang signed an Intellectual Property Agreement and attended a mandatory in-person secrecy training session, which he violated. Zhang was interviewed by the FBI in late June, where he admitted to stealing the information, and he was later arrested attempting to leave to China on July 7. For stealing Apple's trade secrets, Zhang is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. It's no surprise that Apple cracked down on Zhang. Shortly before Zhang's theft was discovered, Apple sent out a lengthy cautionary memo to employees warning them against leaking data to the media. In the letter, Apple said that in 2017, it caught 29 leakers, with 12 of those individuals being arrested and charged. USA v. Xiaolang Zhang by MacRumors on ScribdDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today updated its Apple Leadership page to include John Giannandrea, who now serves as Apple's Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy. Apple hired Giannandrea back in April, stealing him away from Google where he ran the search and artificial intelligence unit. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He has taken over leadership of Siri, which was previously overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi. Apple told TechCrunch that it is combining its Core ML and Siri teams under Giannandrea. The structure of the two teams will remain intact, but both will now answer to Giannandrea. Under his leadership, Apple will continue to build its AI/ML teams, says TechCrunch, focusing on general computation in the cloud alongside data-sensitive on-device computations. Giannandrea spent eight years at Google before joining Apple, and before that, he founded Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies. Apple's hiring of Giannandrea in April came amid ongoing criticism of Siri, which many have claimed has serious shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google due to Apple's focus on privacy. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In 2018, Apple is improving Siri through a new Siri Shortcuts feature that's coming in iOS 12, which is designed to let users create multi-step tasks using both first and third-party apps that can be activated through Siri.Tags: Siri, machine learning, artificial intelligenceDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple might discontinue the iPhone SE in the third quarter of 2018, at least according to BlueFin Research analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane. If accurate, the prediction suggests Apple will stop selling the iPhone SE in September, when it is widely expected to release a second-generation iPhone X, a tentatively named iPhone X Plus, and an all-new 6.1-inch iPhone, the latter of which is more or less expected to be a budget iPhone X. In that case, the iPhone 7 would likely shuffle down the lineup to become Apple's lowest priced smartphone, taking over the $449 price point currently held by the iPhone 6s, which is also likely to be discontinued in September. It's worth noting that Donovan and Mullane do not appear to cite any sources behind their prediction, so their guess is as good as anyone's. We've reached out to the research firm for clarification, and we'll update if we hear back. The fate of the iPhone SE has become increasingly uncertain as time goes on, as the current model has not been updated since it was first released in March 2016, beyond gaining larger storage capacities of 32GB and 128GB in March 2017. The device also received a price cut, from $399 to $349, last September. iPhone SE rumors have been all over the map. Multiple reports claimed that a second-generation model would be released in the first half of 2018, but oft-accurate Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cast doubt on those rumors. Kuo was right, as WWDC capped off the first half of 2018 with no iPhone SE refresh in sight. Beyond timing, rumors have also conflicted about the design and features of a new iPhone SE, should there ever be one. For the most part, expectations fall into two camps: one that expects a minor refresh, with a bump in tech specs, and another that expects a full redesign inspired by the iPhone X. A recent report claimed that Apple has prototyped several different iPhone SE models, including one with a notched display and no home button, while other prototypes are believed to have a similar design as the current iPhone SE, except with a glass back, presumably to allow for wireless charging. The two biggest draws of the iPhone SE are its smaller size, suitable for one-handed usage, and its lower price. It's hard to imagine the device having an iPhone X-esque design at this point without a significantly higher price tag, so we're more inclined to expect a relatively minor refresh if any. The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display, preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID. We'd place our bets on a bump in tech specs that brings the iPhone SE internals more in line with the iPhone 8, should the device live on.Related Roundup: iPhone SEBuyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all of its corporate and retail employees around the world over the next few months, according to BGR's editor-in-chief Jonathan Geller, who cites an unnamed source. The report claims Apple plans to offer a free license to the standalone version of 1Password to each of its employees and their families:According to our source, after many months of planning, Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all 100,000 employees. This includes not just employees in Cupertino, but extends all the way to retail, too. Furthermore, the company is said to have carved out a deal that includes family plans, giving up to 5 family members of each employee a free license for 1Password. […] Apple is also using the stand-alone version of 1Password — at first the company considered using the version that includes AgileBits syncing service that routes through cloud providers like Amazon AWS, but Apple quickly decided that wasn't acceptable. The standalone version of the software lets users sync through iCloud, something Apple is undoubtedly more comfortable with.The report claims 100 Apple employees will start using 1Password through this initiative starting this week, with all corporate and retail employees at the company expected to be activated within the next one to two months. The report also mentioned that "acquisition talks were underway," but "unlikely," and AgileBits swiftly denied it. Rumours of my acquisition are completely false. My humans and I are happily independent and plan to remain so.— 1Password (@1Password) July 10, 2018Tags: bgr.com, 1PasswordDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the App Store for iOS devices, which launched on July 10, 2008, just a day before the iPhone 3G came out. The iPhone 3G was the device Apple used to debut the App Store, with the new functionality built into the iPhone 3G's operating system, iPhone OS 2. Prior to the launch of the App Store, Apple in March of 2008 introduced an iPhone SDK, providing early app developers with the tools to build the first third-party apps. On stage at the announcement event, demo apps included EA's Spore Origins for the iPhone, AIM, Sega's Super Monkey Ball, and a Salesforce app, and within a matter of days, the original iPhone SDK had been downloaded more than 100,000 times. When the App Store opened up in July 2008, 500 third-party apps were ready to download, and in less than a week, Apple announced 10 million apps had been downloaded. From Apple CEO Steve Jobs:"The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days. Developers have created some extraordinary applications, and the App Store can wirelessly deliver them to every iPhone and iPod touch user instantly."Since that initial debut, the App Store has evolved on a yearly basis, with Apple continually refining and revamping the App Store experience for both consumers and developers. We thought we'd explore the App Store's history, highlighting the major evolutionary steps (and a few fun facts) that have ultimately transformed the way we use our iOS devices. - July 10, 2008 - The App Store launches with 500 apps available, 25 percent of which were free, and 75 percent that customers had to purchase. - August 20, 2008 - A Koi Pond app becomes the number one selling app in the App Store. - September 3, 2008 - Apple rejects a "Pull My Finger" app for limited utility, giving us a first taste of the (sometimes confusing and conflicting) curation and moderation policies that have since governed the App Store. Other early app rejections were for reasons that included excessive data transfer, pornography/nudity, duplicating iPhone features, objectionable words (in a dictionary app), and fake reviews. - September 18, 2008 - Trism, one of the first popular games in the App Store, generates $250,000 in revenue in two months. Trism 2, Trism's sequel, is launching today in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the App Store. - December 11, 2008 - Apple adds the first Top Charts section to the iTunes App Store. - March 30, 2009 - The iPhone wins 6 out 7 categories of the Independent Game Festival Awards at the 2009 Game Developers Conference (GDC), establishing it as a serious gaming device. Gaming has since become one of the most popular App Store categories. - April 23, 2009 - Apple issues its first App Store apology for approving an app called "Baby Shaker, where the aim of the game was to make a baby stop crying by shaking the iPhone. - April 24, 2009 - Apple hits its one billion apps downloaded milestone and awards a $10,000 iTunes gift card and other prizes to one lucky winner. - October 15, 2009 - Apple starts allowing in-app purchases in free apps, leading to the freemium apps that dominate the App Store today. - April 3, 2010 - The first iPad is released in the United States, and along with it, the first iPad apps come out, including the original "iBooks" app for the iPad, and the first Netflix app. 2,000 iPad apps were available at launch, a number that grew to 7,000 within two months. - January 6, 2011 - The Mac App Store launches and sees one million app downloads during its first day of availability. - January 22, 2011 - Apple hits a new milestone, 10 billion apps downloaded, and awards another $10,000 iTunes gift card. - February 15, 2011 - Apple launches subscriptions for the App Store, paving the way for App Store users to subscribe to services like Netflix with billing through iTunes. At the same time, Apple makes a rule that apps that offer subscription services must make those services available for purchase in apps, with Apple taking a 30% cut. The rule was reversed four months later. - March 10, 2011 - Apple begins requiring passwords for in-app purchases after children spend thousands of dollars within "free" apps. Apple later settles a lawsuit levied by parents affected by the lax in-app purchase rules. - March 5, 2012 - Apple hits a new milestone, 25 billion apps downloaded. Disney's "Where's My Water? Free" was the lucky 25 billionth app that the winner downloaded. - July 13, 2012 - A hack lets people bypass Apple's in-app purchase mechanism and download apps for free. Piracy continues to be a problem throughout 2012, and even shutters one app, Battle Dungeon. - May 6, 2013 - Apple starts heavily cracking down on app discovery apps that mimic the App Store, like AppGratis and AppShopper. - May 15, 2013 - The App Store hits 50 billion downloads., and Apple gives more prizes away. - June 10, 2013 - Apple unveils iOS 7 with an overhauled interface, including a new look for the App Store. New features include "Apps Near Me" and automatic app updates. - July 26, 2013 - The Developer Center gets hacked, goes offline for eight days. - September 19, 2013 - The App Store gains a dedicated Kids category. - October 20, 2014 - Apple Pay launches and can be used in apps to make purchases. - October 23, 2014 - TestFlight launches, making it easier for developers and customers to beta test apps. - November 19, 2014 - Apple changes the download button for all "Free" apps to "Get" to signify that free apps may have in-app purchases. - April 25, 2015 - The first Apple Watch launches, bringing Apple Watch apps with it. Apple Watch apps are tied to iOS apps and are installed as an add-on. - June 8, 2015 - The App Store surpasses 100 billion lifetime app downloads. - October 30, 2015 - The fourth-generation Apple TV with built-in App Store launches, allowing third-party apps and games to be downloaded on the Apple TV for the first time. - December 17, 2015 - Marketing chief Phil Schiller takes over the App Store, which was previously led by Eddy Cue. He promises a "renewed focus and energy" on the App Store. - June 8, 2016 - Apple announces major App Store changes, including subscription terms that cut down on Apple's fees after a year, search ads, and the availability of subscription options for all apps. This also includes a commitment to clean up the App Store, eliminating old and outdated apps. - July 5, 2016 - Pokémon Go, the first super popular augmented reality app for iOS devices, launches. It spends 74 days as the highest grossing app in the U.S. App Store and remains popular today. - September 13, 2016 - iOS 10 launches with Messages App Store, filled with apps that work in the Messages app and stickers. - October 6, 2016 - App Store search ads roll out, providing developers with new ways to promote their apps. - December 15, 2016 - Nintendo launches Super Mario Run, its first app from an ultra popular franchise, which makes more than $53 million in under two months. Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing follow in later months. - September 12, 2017 - Apple releases iTunes 12.7, which removes the built-in iTunes App Store. Apple later released a version of iTunes 12.6.3 that retains the App Store for businesses that require desktop access to apps. - September 19, 2017 - iOS 11 launches with an entirely revamped App Store. - September 19, 2017 - Alongside the revamped App Store in iOS 11, Apple launches ARKit, turning iOS into the largest augmented reality platform overnight. - December 11, 2017 - Apple begins allowing developers to offer app pre-orders. - June 4, 2018 - Apple announces macOS Mojave with a major overhaul for the oft-overlooked Mac App Store that brings it in line with the iOS 11 iOS App Store redesign, which should improve app discovery and lure more developers to the platform. - June 5, 2018 - Apple changes its App Store guidelines, allowing all apps, not just subscription apps, to offer free trials to customers. As of today, apps are available across all of Apple's platforms, from the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to the Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. The new iOS 11 App Store sees more than 500 million weekly visitors, and developers have earned a total of $100 billion in revenue as of June 2018. There are more than 1.3 million apps available for the iPad, 28,000 apps that offer subscriptions, and 3,000 augmented reality apps. Apple last week published its own retrospective of the App Store, which is well worth reading as it explores thoughts from some of the most influential developers along with milestones that Apple feels are most important. In a statement, Apple's Phil Schiller said the App Store has exceeded the company's "wildest expectations.""In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations -- from the innovative apps that developers have dreamed up, to the way customers have made apps part of their daily lives -- and this is just the beginning. We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store."There's more in store for the App Store in the future, with some major changes in the works. In addition to the redesigned Mac App Store, Apple is developing common frameworks for iOS and Mac apps, with the eventual goal of making it easier for third-party developers to port iOS apps to the Mac. As a first step, several iOS-only apps have been brought to the Mac, including Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos. Starting in 2019, Apple plans to let developers begin porting iOS apps to the Mac using these frameworks, which will increase the availability of Mac apps. What changes do you hope to see Apple introduce to the App Store in the future? What was your favorite change that's been implemented so far? Let us know in the comments.Tag: App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Microsoft yesterday unveiled the 10-inch Surface Go, the company's smallest and lightest tablet computer to date. Priced at $399, the device is aimed at the same $500-and-under market as Apple's 9.7-inch iPad, which starts at $329. Looks-wise, the Go is basically a smaller version of the $799 Surface Pro, including the integrated kickstand and a front-facing camera above the 1800 x 1200 resolution IPS touchscreen display. On the right side of the Go is a magnetic Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock, one USB-C port, and a headphone jack, with a microSD card slot located underneath the hinge. Inside, the Go features a fanless Kaby Lake dual-core Intel Pentium Gold processor, 4GB or 8GB RAM, and 64GB or 128GB solid-state storage. Microsoft claims the Go has up to 9 hours of battery life. Weighing in at 1.15lbs, the Go is slightly heavier than Apple's iPad. Like the Surface Pro, the Go supports the $99 Surface Pen (Apple added Apple Pencil support to its $329 iPad in March.) and optional keyboard cover, which starts at $99 in black, with four color options costing $129. The optional Surface Mobile Mouse costs $35. Off the shelf, Surface Go devices will run Windows 10 in "S mode", a streamlined version of Microsoft's desktop OS that only runs verified apps downloaded from the Windows Store, although customers can switch to the regular version of Windows 10 at no additional cost. For business customers, Microsoft is also offering a Surface Go with Windows 10 Pro installed for $449. The $399 Surface Go ships August 2 in the U.S. and two dozen other markets, with Wi-Fi versions available initially and LTE versions to come later in the year. Related Roundup: iPadTags: Microsoft, Surface GoBuyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Security researchers claim to have discovered a loophole that bypasses USB Restricted Mode, Apple's latest anti-hacking feature in iOS 12 beta and iOS 11.4.1, which was released on Monday. USB Restricted Mode is designed to make iPhones and iPads immune to certain hacking techniques that use a USB connection to download data through the Lightning connector to crack the passcode. iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 prevent this by default by disabling data access to the Lightning port if it's been more than an hour since the iOS device was last unlocked. Users can also quickly disable the USB connection manually by engaging Emergency SOS mode. However, researchers at cybersecurity firm ElcomSoft claim to have discovered a loophole that resets the one-hour counter. The bypass technique involves connecting a USB accessory into the Lightning port of the iOS device, which prevents USB Restricted Mode from locking after one hour. ElcomSoft's Oleg Afonin explained the technique in a blog post: What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all). In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour. Importantly, this only helps if the iPhone has still not entered USB Restricted Mode.According to Afonin, Apple's own $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter can be used to reset the counter. Researchers are currently testing a mix of official and third-party adapters to see what else works with the bypass technique. Afonin notes that ElcomSoft found no obvious way to break USB Restricted Mode once it has been engaged, suggesting the vulnerability is, in his words, "probably nothing more than an oversight" on Apple's part. Still, at present its existence provides a potential avenue for law enforcement or other potentially malicious actors to prevent USB Restricted Mode from activating shortly after seizure. Both iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 beta 2 are said to exhibit the same behavior when exploiting the loophole. However, expect this to change in subsequent versions of iOS – Apple continually works on strengthening security protections and addressing iPhone vulnerabilities as quickly as possible to defend against hackers. Apple reportedly introduced USB restrictions to disable commercial passcode cracking tools like GrayKey. Afonin cites rumors that the newer GrayShift tool is able to defeat the protection provided by USB Restricted Mode, but the research community has yet to see firm evidence confirming this.Related Roundups: iOS 11, iOS 12Tag: Apple securityDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple last week introduced a beta version of the Siri Shortcuts app that's designed to let iOS 12 users create Workflow-style shortcuts and assign Siri commands to them, allowing a range of actions to be executed with voice-based requests. While the app is complex, powerful, and can be explored for hours without uncovering all that it can do, we thought we'd take a quick look at it in our latest YouTube video to give MacRumors readers an idea of what to expect from Siri Shortcuts when it launches this fall. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Shortcuts app (and the Siri Shortcuts feature) is based on the Workflow app that Apple acquired in 2017, so if you've used Workflow before, Siri Shortcuts and the dedicated Shortcuts app will be immediately familiar to you. Shortcuts allows you to create multi-step customizable workflows that can use first-party apps, third-party apps, and Apple services and settings, which ultimately leads to a huge number of possibilities for tasks that can be streamlined and simplified. While much of this was possible with Workflow, adding Siri to the mix makes it easier to execute your shortcuts. If you're unfamiliar with Shortcuts, the best way to describe the feature is through examples. You can create a "I'm going home" shortcut that sets the thermostat at a lower temperature using the Nest app, texts your roommate that you're on the way home from work, turns on the lights at home, and opens up the Maps app with directions to your house, with the entire action activated using Siri. Or, as Apple demonstrated during the WWDC keynote, you can make an "I'm going surfing" shortcut that uses a Siri command to get a surf report, display the current weather, calculate an estimated time of arrival to the beach, and prepare a reminder to put on sunscreen. Simpler shortcuts do things like turn a Live Photo into a GIF or surface photos you took a year ago. When you install the Shortcuts app, you'll see that it's already populated with a huge gallery of pre-created shortcut options, along with all of your previously created Workflow shortcuts if you regularly use Workflow. The Gallery section provides multiple suggestions on how shortcuts can be used, offering up options like "Home ETA," which shares how long it will take you to get home, "Photo Grid," which lets you select photos and organize them into a grid," "Log Day One Activity," which starts a new diary entry in the Day One app," and "Make Top 25 Playlist," which creates a playlist from your 25 most listened to songs. Shortcuts in the Gallery are organized in different sections like "Designed for Safari," "Share From Other Apps," "Essentials," "Morning Routine," "Explore Apple Music," "Stay Healthy," "Photography," "Do More Around the House," "On the Interweb," and much more, and there's a search option if you're looking for something specific. You can modify any of the shortcuts in the gallery to tailor them to your needs or you can create shortcuts from scratch. All of your shortcuts you download are stored in the Library tab, and if you tap the "+" button in this section, you can create new shortcuts. When making your own shortcuts, there are a huge range of actions and options to choose from, from both first and third-party apps. You can access actions from apps that include Health, Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Music, Photos, the web, and more, with these options set to expand over the course of the beta testing period as third-party apps begin implementing Shortcuts support. All of your shortcuts can be "Added to Siri," which assigns a personalized phrase to the shortcut. Going forward, the shortcut can then be activated using that particular Siri command. The Shortcuts app is limited to developers at the current time, and developers who have not signed up for the Shortcuts TestFlight beta can do so through the "Request" option available in the download section of the Apple Developer Center. It is not clear if Apple will expand the TestFlight beta to its public beta testing group, but expect the Shortcuts app to launch alongside iOS 12 this fall. What do you think of the new Shortcuts app and the Siri Shortcuts feature in iOS 12? Let us know in the comments.Related Roundup: iOS 12Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, the sixth update to the macOS High Sierra operating system available on Apple's Mac lineup. macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 comes more than a month after the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, which introduced support for Messages in iCloud. macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on all compatible Macs that are already running macOS High Sierra. The macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 update is minor in scale, focusing on bug fixes and security improvements. No major feature changes were discovered during the beta testing process, but Apple's release notes say it adds AirPlay 2 multi-room support for iTunes. Full release notes are below:The macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 update adds AirPlay 2 multi-room audio support for iTunes and improves the stability and security of your Mac. This update is recommended for all users. AirPlay 2 for iTunes - Control your home audio system and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout your house - Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your house, all in sync Other improvements and fixes - Fixes an issue that may prevent Photos from recognizing AVCHD media from some cameras - Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail users from moving a message from Gmail to another accountmacOS High Sierra 10.13.6 may be one of the final updates to the macOS High Sierra operating system, as Apple in June introduced macOS Mojave, an update that will be launching to the public this fall. macOS Mojave is currently available to developers and public beta testers and will be tested for several months before it sees a launch. macOS Mojave introduces a system-wide Dark Mode, Desktop Stacks for organizing all of the files on your desktop, several changes to Finder to make it quicker and easier to access and edit your files, Continuity Camera for importing photos to Mac right from an iPhone, and new apps that include Apple News, Socks, Home, and Voice Memos. For full details on all of the new features that are coming in the macOS Mojave update, make sure to check out our roundup.Related Roundup: macOS High SierraDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
The House Energy and Commerce Committee this morning sent letters to Apple and Google parent company Alphabet to ask 16 multi-part questions about how the companies handle customer data, according to a press release. The letter to Apple [PDF] cites recent media reports as the reason for the inquiry, referencing November news suggesting Android collects extensive user location data even when location services are disabled along with reports that smartphones collect and store "non-triggered" audio data from user conversations near a smartphone to hear a trigger phrase such as "Ok Google" or "Hey Siri." While both of these reports were focused on Android, the House wants to know if Apple has similar practices, collecting location data when location services, WiFi, and Bluetooth are disabled or gathering "non-triggered" voice data from customers and sharing it with third-party sources. A summary of some of the questions are below, with the complete list available in a PDF of the letter shared by the committee. When an iPhone lacks a SIM card (or if WiFi, Bluetooth, or location services are disabled), is that phone programmed to collect and locally store information through a different data-collection capability, if available, regarding: nearby cellular towers, nearby WiFi hotspots, or nearby Bluetooth beacons? If yes, are iPhones without SIM cards (or with WiFi/Bluetooth/location services disabled) programmed to send this locally stored information to Apple? If a consumer using an iPhone has disabled location services for multiple apps, but then reenables location services for one app, are iPhones programmed to reenable location services for all apps on that phone? Do Apple's iPhone devices have the capability to listen to consumers without a clear, unambiguous audio trigger? If yes, how is this data used by Apple? What access to this data does Apple give to third parties? Do Apple's iPhone devices collect audio recordings of users without consent? Could Apple control or limit the data collected by third-party apps available on the App Store? Please provide a list of all data elements that can be collected by a third-party app downloaded on an iPhone device about a user. Apple recently announced a partnership with RapidSOS for enhanced location services for 911 calls. What role will RapidSOS serve in the sharing and retention of this information? What limits does Apple place on third-party developers' ability to collect information from users' or from users' devices? Please describe in detail changes made in June 2017 from prior policies. That last question references App Store Guidelines that Apple updated in June to restrict apps from from collecting user data to build advertising profiles or contact databases. The new rules also prohibit apps from harvesting data from an iPhone user's contacts to create contact databases. The letter goes on to request Apple's policies for data collection via the microphone, Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular networking capabilities, along with Apple's policies pertaining to third-party access and use of data collected by the microphone. It also asks whether Apple has suspended or banned companies for violating its App Store rules, requesting specific examples and whether users had been notified their data was misused when the developer was banned. The House Energy and Commerce Committee asks Apple to make arrangements to provide a briefing on the topics listed in the letter, but it does not provide a timeline for when Apple needs to respond. Apple generally responds to these requests in a prompt manner, however. Apple maintains stricter and more transparent privacy policies than companies like Google and Facebook, with a dedicated privacy website that explains its approach to privacy, outlines tools available to customers to protect their privacy, and details government data requests. Privacy is at the forefront of many features Apple implements, and the company is careful to always outline the privacy protections that have been added when introducing new functionality. When introducing new Photos features in iOS 12 that allow for improved search and sharing suggestions, for example, Apple was quick to point out that these features are all on-device. Apple executives have said several times that Apple customers are not the company's product, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has maintained that privacy is a fundamental human right. From a recent interview:To me, and we feel this very deeply, we think privacy is a fundamental human right. So that is the angle that we look at it. Privacy from an American point of view is one of these key civil liberties that define what it is to be American.Cook has also said that people are not fully aware of how their data is being used and who has access to it, a problem that "needs to be addressed.""The ability of anyone to know what you've been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life - from my own point of view it shouldn't exist."Apple is continually introducing new privacy tools and protections for customers. Both macOS Mojave and iOS 12 include security and privacy improvements designed to better protect users, with additional tracking protection in Safari on both operating systems and extended privacy protections in Mojave. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: privacyDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 11.4.1, the fifteenth update to the iOS 11 operating system that was first introduced in September 2017. iOS 11.4.1 comes more than a month after the release of iOS 11.4, a major update that introduced support for Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2. iOS 11.4.1 is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch. iOS 11.4.1 is a minor update that's been introduced to address bugs that have been discovered since the launch of iOS 11.4, with no new features discovered during the beta testing period. According to Apple's release notes, today's update fixes an issue that prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in Find My iPhone and it improves the reliability of syncing mail, contacts, and notes with Exchange accounts. Today's iOS 11.4.1 update may be one of the last updates that we see to the iOS 11 operating system. At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple introduced iOS 12, the next-generation version of iOS. iOS 12 brings improvements like Group FaceTime, Screen Time for monitoring iPhone and iPad usage, Do Not Disturb improvements, Grouped Notifications, new Memoji and Animoji options, and more, with full details available in our iOS 12 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
While the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were only released nearly four months ago, rumors have already surfaced about the Galaxy S10 lineup. Galaxy S9 Korean website The Bell today reported that Samsung plans to release a trio of new Galaxy S smartphones next year, including the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and a lower-priced version of the Galaxy S10. The latter device is expected to be the first-ever entry-level Galaxy S model, not a Galaxy A or Galaxy J model. If that sounds familiar, it is because Apple is widely rumored to introduce a trio of new iPhones this September, including a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone, with some but not all features of the iPhone X. The report adds that the Galaxy S10+ will feature a triple-lens rear camera system and a dual-lens front camera system. The rear system is said to include the same 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12-megapixel telephoto lens as the Galaxy S9+, in addition to an all-new 16-megapixel 120º ultra-wide-angle lens. Again, if that sounds familiar, it is because Apple is rumored to introduce at least one new iPhone with a triple-lens rear camera in 2019. The standard-sized Galaxy S10 is expected to have a single-lens front camera and a triple-lens rear camera, while the entry-level Galaxy S10 is said to sport a single-lens front camera and a dual-lens rear camera. Last week, The Bell reported that the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, and possibly 3D facial recognition, similar to Face ID on the iPhone X. These would likely be the only biometric authentication options, as Samsung reportedly plans to exclude iris scanning on the devices. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ at Mobile World Congress next February and release the smartphones in March.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S10Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared four new 15-second ads highlighting the portability of its lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad for education and travel. The ads, titled Travel Simply, Organized Notes, Paperless Paperwork, and All Your Stuff, depict the iPad as a space-saving replacement for textbooks in the classroom, paperwork in the office, and a laptop during a flight. Many of the comparisons are exaggerated — for example, the baby on the plane suddenly stops crying when the camera pans over the passenger using an iPad — but the ads convey a clear message about the iPad's versatility. Apple introduced the sixth-generation iPad at an education event in Chicago last March. The tablet is priced from $329 in the United States, serving as a lower-cost alternative to the iPad Pro, complete with Apple Pencil support. Subscribe to MacRumors on YouTube for more videos Apple has yet to upload these ads to its main YouTube channel in the United States, but they are available on some of its regional channels.Related Roundup: iPadTag: Apple adsBuyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple this afternoon uploaded a new iPhone X ad entitled "Memory" to its YouTube channel, which is designed to promote Face ID and its ability to replace a password to log into apps and websites. In the humorous spot, there's a gameshow-style setup in an arena filled with people, starring a man tasked with solving memory challenges. A host asks him to complete a final challenge: "This morning, you created an online biking password. What is it?" The audience gasps as the man struggles to remember the password, before whipping out his iPhone X with Face ID. After it scans his face, the iPhone inputs the password into the site automatically and he wins the challenge. Suddenly, the ad flashes back to the real world coffee shop he's sitting in, where he clenches his fist victoriously. "Your face is your password," reads the end of the ad. "Memory" is one of several clever ads Apple has created to promote features like Face ID, Animoji, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and more in the iPhone X, and it follows "Unlock," a similar ad that also demonstrates the benefits of Face ID and the TrueDepth camera system. The video, which is a little over a minute and thirty seconds long, will likely be shown on television and on social media sites in the coming weeks.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave update to its public beta testing group, one week after seeding the first macOS Mojave public beta. Today's second public beta is the same as the third developer beta, released earlier this week. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the macOS Mojave beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Subsequent betas are installed in a different way, using the Software Update icon in System Preferences. 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. Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Mojave, and it should not be installed on a primary machine because betas are unstable and often have many bugs. macOS Mojave's main new feature is a systemwide Dark Mode, which gives Mac users a new way to view the operating system. A revamped Mac App Store makes it easier than ever to discover great apps, while Dynamic Desktops give you wallpapers that subtly change throughout the day. An improved Finder window with Gallery View, Sidebar, Quick Look, and Quick Actions makes it easier to manipulate, edit, and organize your files, while Desktop Stacks organizes all of the files on your desktop. The Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps have made their way to the Mac in Mojave, and for the first time, you can use Siri on Mac to control HomeKit products. Group FaceTime, an iOS 12 feature, is also available in Mojave and lets you chat with up to 32 people at one time. Apple is keeping your data safer than ever with new security and privacy improvements, and Safari in macOS Mojave makes it much easier to track you through share/like buttons and via your system configuration. macOS Mojave is compatible with 2015 and newer MacBooks, 2012 and newer MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models, the 2017 iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models from late 2013 and mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with Metal-capable GPUs. Mojave will be available in a beta capacity for the next several months so Apple can work out bugs ahead of a fall release.Related Roundup: macOS MojaveDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Music has now surpassed Spotify's subscriber count in the United States, according to a confidential source who spoke to Digital Music News. The anonymous source, said to be a major U.S.-based distributor, is said to have shared a report with the website detailing the subscriber tallies of several streaming music services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Sirius XM. Among primarily on-demand music streaming services, the report says both Apple Music and Spotify have more than 20 million subscribers in the U.S., with Apple now "a hair ahead" with "20 million plus" members. The exact figure was reportedly withheld on request of the source to protect confidentiality. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was gaining U.S. subscribers at a higher rate than Spotify. Apple’s US-based subscriber growth rate was believed to be 5 percent in the U.S., compared to Spotify’s 2 percent. Based on those figures, the report predicted Apple Music would surpass its biggest rival in the summer. Apple's growth was said to be due in part by the increasing numbers of devices in consumers' hands. Since the WSJ report, Apple has also released its HomePod speaker, which includes features specific to Apple Music. Apple's service recently surpassed its single-day streaming record, with Drake's fifth album, Scorpion, notching up over 170 million streams in its first 24 hours of availability. Spotify was unable to keep up with its rival's streaming figures for the album, despite Apple Music having around 120 million fewer subscribers than Spotify, suggesting Apple won via stronger user engagement. In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Music had over 50 million users worldwide on either paid subscriptions or free trials. However, that figure still put Apple Music some ways off Spotify, which said it had 75 million paying subscribers as of March 31. Spotify has a much larger total of at least 170 million active users due to the free, ad-supported tier that it offers. Apple Music has been a major contributor to the continued growth of Apple's services category, bringing in $9.1 billion revenue in the second fiscal quarter of 2018, an increase of 31 percent on a year-over-year basis. Other service-related revenue includes App Store and iTunes Store sales, paid iCloud storage, licensing, and more.Tag: Apple MusicDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Continuing on with its World Cup-themed content, Apple this evening uploaded three new soccer-related videos in its popular "Shot on iPhone" series to its YouTube channel, showcasing iPhone-captured content from Australia, Japan, and Berlengas Island, off the coast of Portugal. The first video, "The Heart of Australia," features Aborigine girls playing soccer, while the second video, "The 'Wa' of Soccer," features a group of monks playing a soccer match in Yatsushiro City in Kumamoto, Japan. The Heart of Australia. Finding happiness through soccer, Aborigine girls embrace the sport to create new opportunities for themselves. We get a glimpse inside their cultural heritage and how the community preserves and celebrates its identity. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land, the Ntaria people of the Arrernte nation and their elders past and present. We acknowledge the land on which we gather, Arrernte country.The 'Wa' of Soccer. A soccer match is an embodiment of life's struggles in 90 minutes. A group of monks play to connect with the local community, keep fit, and respect the 'wa' -- the peaceful unity and conformity within a social group.The third video highlights the Berlengas Island Cup, where two rival Portuguese soccer teams (Baleal vs. Peniche) travel the Berlengas Islands to play a game on neutral territory. Berlengas Island Cup 2018. Rival teams refuse to play on the other's pitch. They agree to play on neutral territory, the Berlengas islands off the Atlantic coast of Portugal, seven miles from the mainland. The Berlengas Island Cup 2018 hosts Baleal vs. Peniche. It's a historic match to decide who is champion of the sea and soccer pitch.All three videos, like other photos and videos in the "Shot on iPhone" series, were captured using an iPhone, though Apple does not specify which of its iPhones was used to make each video. Apple has been running its "Shot on iPhone" campaign in various forms since the launch of the iPhone 6, relaunching it each year for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and most recently, the iPhone X. Apple's "Shot on iPhone" content spans videos, photos shared on various social networks, billboards, and more.Tag: Shot on iPhoneDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today introduced a beta version of the Siri Shortcuts app that's been designed for iOS 12, which developers can request access to through the Developer Center. The Shortcuts beta is being handled through TestFlight, with a "Request" option for access available after logging in to the Developer Center. After clicking the button to request access, Apple says selected users will be notified shortly via email if they're permitted access. Siri Shortcuts is based on the Workflow app that Apple purchased in 2017, allowing users to create multi-step shortcuts using third-party apps, which can then be activated using a Siri voice command. So, for example, you can create a shortcut to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you're on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single "I'm going home" Siri command. Shortcuts are deeply customizable, with third-party apps able to expose a series of quick actions to Siri that can be incorporated into Shortcut recipes. When iOS 12 was introduced, Apple said a Shortcuts app would be available in the fall, but it wasn't clear if a beta version would be available. Right now, in the iOS 12 beta, a limited number of Shortcuts can be created within the Siri section of the Settings app, but the Shortcuts app will be required for full functionality. According to Apple, the initial beta of Shortcuts will have limited actions, no iCloud syncing, and some missing actions. Shortcuts are also not able to open apps when run from Siri when a device is locked. Testers who have Workflow installed will see their workflows migrated to shortcuts after installing the beta. It's not clear if Apple will also release a beta version of the Shortcuts app for public beta testers, but this first iteration is limited to developers.Related Roundup: iOS 12Tag: SiriDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the App Store's upcoming 10th anniversary on Tuesday, July 10, Apple today shared some App Store history, exploring significant App Store milestones and sharing testimonials from Apple execs, app developers, and more on how the App Store put mobile businesses first, transformed gaming, improved accessibility, bolstered health, revolutionized education, and changed lives. The App Store launched on July 10, 2008 with a total of 500 apps, which Apple says ignited a "cultural, social, and economic phenomenon" that has, over the past decade, created a place for iOS users of all ages to get the best apps. From Phil Schiller, Apple marketing chief: "In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations -- from the innovative apps that developers have dreamed up, to the way customers have made apps part of their daily lives -- and this is just the beginning. We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store."Many of the apps available on the first day of the App Store's launch can still be purchased today, including MLB at Bat, The New York Times, eBay, Travelocity, Tap Tap Revenge, and more. Early App Store developers Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckynova, who created Temple Run, said the App Store changed their lives."The App Store and iPhone changed our lives. Our first game, Imangi, launched the day the App Store opened. Fast forward 10 years, and we've created over 10 games, including Temple Run, which has been downloaded over a BILLION times. Our studio has grown from the two of us to a team of 35. None of this would have been possible without the App Store."Cutting edge technology, explains Apple, has allowed developers and start-ups to create apps that take advantage of Apple Pay, GPS, location services, and more to create "billion dollar businesses" that started with the App Store. Games, too, have become an important part of the App Store. Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto said the App Store allows the company to share Nintendo games with new audiences. "We are very happy that we are able to deliver Super Mario Run, a new Super Mario experience that could be played with just one hand on iPhone, to hundreds of millions of consumers because of the App Store. The App Store allows us to share the joy of Nintendo games with many new audiences, and we will continue striving to provide unique and new game experiences to App Store customers."Apple also changed gaming and apps with the in-app purchase, allowing people to unlock different functionality and try apps before purchasing. That expanded to subscription apps in 2011, and as of now, 28,000 apps offer subscription options. The iPad came in 2010, along with apps designed for the larger screen. There are a total of 1.3 million apps created just for the iPad available today, ranging from Lightroom and Microsoft Office 365 to Procreate. Procreate founder James Cuda says the digital art creation app "simply would not be possible without the App Store." ARKit and augmented reality apps came in 2017, turning iOS into the biggest AR platform in the world. There are more than 3,000 AR apps available on the App Store, and improvements coming in iOS 12, such as multi-person support and persistent experiences, will lead to even better AR apps. As of June 2018, developers have earned more than $100 billion from the App Store. There are more than 20 million third-party developers registered for the App Store, and more than 500 million customers visit it on iPhone and iPad each week. Apple in 2017 entirely overhauled the App Store, splitting games and apps into two categories and focusing more heavily on app discovery through Today tab stories, editor's picks, and more. Apple says that hundreds of Today stories have been read by more than 1 million people. Check out Apple's full App Store tribute in the company's newsroom to see all of the different testimonials from app developers.Tag: App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second public beta of iOS 12 to public beta testers, giving non-developers a chance to test the software ahead of its upcoming fall release. The second iOS 12 public beta, which comes one week after the first public beta, corresponds to the third developer beta released on Tuesday. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 12 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. Before installing a beta, make sure to create a full encrypted iTunes backup or an iCloud backup and be sure to install iOS 12 on a secondary device because beta software is not always stable and can include bugs. The new iOS 12 beta includes a rebuilt Maps app with a new Apple-designed Maps engine that's available in the San Francisco Bay Area at the current time. While limited to the San Francisco area at this time, the features will roll out to Northern California in the fall before expanding to additional locations across the United States in late 2018 and 2019. The revamped Maps app displays foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately, and it brings improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more. Today's update also includes a new interface for the Voice Memos app on iPad, a relocated Share My Location setting, options to clear all notifications on iPad with a long press, and the removal of the haptic feedback buzzing that occurred whenever an iPhone 6s or later was unlocked with the Touch ID Home button. iOS 12 introduces Group FaceTime, local multiplayer shared AR experiences, new Animoji, and a Memoji feature that's designed to let you create a personalized Animoji that looks just like you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Animoji, stickers, text, and more can be used in FaceTime and the Messages app, and there's a new Screen Time feature to help customers understand and manage the amount of time they're spending on their iOS devices. There are options to limit app time and Screen Time also includes comprehensive parental control tools. New Do Not Disturb features make it easier to manage notifications, as do interactive notification options and notification grouping. Siri has been improved in iOS 12 with Siri Shortcuts, a feature designed to allow let to work with third-party apps, and Siri is also smarter and able to provide info on motorsports, food, and celebrities. Later in the year, Apple will launch a Shortcuts app so you can create your own shortcuts. Under-the-hood improvements to iOS 12 will make everyday tasks on the iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive, with the camera launching up to 70 percent faster and the keyboard showing up to 50 percent faster. iOS 12 will be available to developers and public beta testers as a beta for the next two months to allow Apple to work out bugs and other issues ahead of a fall launch alongside new iPhones. Related Roundup: iOS 12Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Class action lawsuits continue to mount against Apple over the iPhone Slowdown saga. For those unaware, late last year, Apple admitted that it throttles the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries when necessary in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down. Apple views this as a feature intended to provide the best user experience possible, and make iPhones last as long as possible, but it wasn't very transparent about the changes, leading some customers to believe that Apple is purposefully slowing down older iPhones as a form of planned obsolescence. In an apology letter to customers over its lack of communication, Apple emphatically denied that it would ever "do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades." Not everyone believes Apple, however, as a group of 78 customers from multiple states have jointly filed a class action lawsuit against Apple this week, accusing the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhones to force customers to upgrade to a newer iPhone, calling it "one of the largest consumer frauds in history." The full complaint is exhaustive, as most court documents are, but the gist of it is that Apple allegedly committed fraud by secretly slowing down older iPhones as part of a money-making scheme. Through these actions, Apple is accused of violating California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and other laws. An excerpt from the complaint, filed in a U.S. district court in San Jose on Monday and obtained by MacRumors:While Plaintiffs and the class need not attribute any motive behind Apple's intentional degradation of the Devices, it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money. Although technically complex in part, the scheme was logical and simple: The Devices were designed defectively, and Apple released software updates to conceal the Defects, all the while exacerbating the effects of the Defects—principally decreased performance—so that Device users had no choice but to purchase new batteries or upgrade their Devices, resulting in additional payments to Apple and a sustained (albeit forced) customer base.Apple's VP of marketing Greg Joswiak recently denied this theory, calling it "about the craziest thinking in the world."Which is about the craziest thinking in the world, where I give you a shitty experience so you go buy our new product. But, to your point, there's been so much that people forgot about how great software updates are. First of all, we have a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate with iOS 11… it's great. We have delivered through the years amazing features, from the App Store to iMessage."The plaintiffs, who reside all across the United States, are aiming to become the representatives of the proposed class, including all users of the iPhone 5 and newer and various iPad models, including the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini. It's unclear why the complaint includes the iPhone 5-5s and iPads, which are not affected by the performance management, according to Apple. This case, along with over 60 others, will likely be heard by the Honorable Judge Edward J. Davila, after the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all iPhone slowdown lawsuits to be consolidated as one large class action in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, where he presides. Apple has already taken a few courses of action beyond apologizing, including reducing the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018, and offering a $50 credit to all customers who paid for an out-of warranty battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or later in 2017. Moreover, in iOS 11.3, Apple introduced a new Battery Health feature in beta to track an iPhone's battery and performance status. When users first install iOS 11.3 or later, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. If an unexpected shutdown occurs, however, the performance management is turned back on and must be disabled manually thereafter—although Apple doesn't recommend it. If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about your iPhone battery, contact Apple Support. Also read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone SETags: lawsuit, iPhone SlowdownBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Caution), iPhone SE (Don't Buy), iPhone 8 (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Belkin today is launching the first power bank with Lightning input to be officially certified under Apple's MFi licensing program, assuring that the product meets Apple's standards for quality and compatibility. Belkin's BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K, priced at $59.99, offers 10,000 mAh of charging power and is recharged over a Lightning connector using either a USB-to-Lightning cable or a compatible Lightning dock sold separately. On the output side, the Power Bank Lightning 10K includes a pair of USB-A ports, one at 2.4A for faster charging of iPhones and iPads and one at 1A for slower charging. A button-activated set of four LEDs on the top of the Power Bank shows the current charge level, and the button also lets you toggle between charging input and output modes if needed. While power banks most commonly use micro-USB for charging input and a few are shifting over to USB-C, Lightning offers the benefit of needing only a single cable to both charge the battery pack and use the battery pack to charge your phone. If you've got a Lightning dock on your desk, you may also be able to use that to recharge the power bank, although it is significantly thicker than an iPhone so not all docks will be able to accommodate the power bank. Charging on an Apple Lightning dock The Power Bank Lightning 10K measures about 6 inches long, around 2.75 inches wide, and a little under 0.75 inches thick, so it's slightly smaller but substantially thicker than a Plus-sized iPhone. It weighs a little over 8 ounces, about 25 percent more than a Plus-sized iPhone. In my testing, the power bank worked well, efficiently charging an iPhone connected to the 2.4A USB port. It also appeared to be able to maintain rated charging speeds with devices connected to both USB ports simultaneously. Recharging the power bank took three hours or so when connected to an iPad charger. Beyond standard power banks, the launch of the first MFi-certified Lightning battery may also bode well for future similar accessories from other manufacturers, including the possibility of iPhone battery cases with Lightning input, a product family long requested by users. Belkin's $59.99 BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K will be available in black or white and is available for pre-order starting today through Belkin. It should begin shipping around the beginning of August. For peace of mind, the BOOST↑­CHARGE Power Bank Lightning 10K includes Belkin's $2500 Connected Equipment Warranty, offering protection for any equipment damaged by power spikes or surges while properly connected to the power bank. Note: Belkin provided a sample of the Power Bank Lightning 10K to MacRumors free of charge for the coverage purposes. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.Tag: BelkinDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
While we're still two months away from Apple's widely rumored trio of 2018 iPhones, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to next year. iPhone with triple-lens rear camera mockup via iDrop News Much of the early discussion has centered upon the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones, with multiple reports claiming it will be a triple-lens array with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities. Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News says as much in a pair of reports today, claiming that the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones will feature "more advanced" sensing than the front-facing TrueDepth system on the current iPhone X, with a triple-lens setup capable of stereoscopic imaging. With stereoscopic imaging, two of the sensors would be able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object. The third lens would also likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom. Bloomberg News last year reported that Apple aims to include rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities in its 2019 iPhones. At the time, Apple was said to be evaluating a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment. While the exact implementation remains to be seen, it's clear that the rear camera could play a big role in the augmented reality capabilities of future iPhones. Last year, Apple released ARKit, a framework that enables developers to incorporate augmented reality into their apps on iOS 11 and later. Apple previews ARKit 2 during WWDC 2018 at around 22:05 mark of video At WWDC 2018 last month, Apple previewed ARKit 2, with shared experiences like multiplayer games, persistent augmented reality, extended support for image detection and tracking, and more.Tags: udn.com, augmented reality, 2019 iPhonesDiscuss this article in our forums

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