posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
The Apple Watch's built-in heart rate monitor is 97 percent accurate when detecting the most common form of an abnormal heart rhythm when paired with an algorithm to sort through the data, according to a new study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and the team behind the Cardiogram app (via TechCrunch). There were 6,158 participants in the study, all of whom used the Cardiogram app on the Apple Watch to monitor their heart rate. Most were known to have normal EKG readings, but 200 suffer from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (an occasional irregular heartbeat). Data from these participants, along with data taken from normal Cardiogram users, was used to build a neural network that could recognize the abnormal heart rhythms solely from data collected by the Apple Watch. As of today, Cardiogram says its algorithm can almost always successfully determine when a patient is in atrial fibrillation.In order to validate the model, we obtained gold-standard labels of atrial fibrillation from cardioversions. In a cardioversion, a patient experiencing atrial fibrillation is converted back to normal sinus rhythm, either chemically or with a shock to the heart. 51 patients at UCSF agreed to wear an Apple Watch during their cardioversion. We obtained heart rate samples before the procedure, when the patient was in atrial fibrillation, and after, when patient's heart was restored to a normal rhythm. On this validation set, our model performed with an AUC of 0.97, beating existing methods.Cardiogram is a startup that's aiming to garner more information from the data collected by the Apple Watch. The study, which Cardiogram has raised funding for, started in March of 2016 and will continue as UCSF and Cardiogram work to refine the neural network and detect other conditions beyond atrial fibrillation. Cardiogram plans to put in additional work before using its algorithm to start notifying Cardiogram users of arrhythmias. The company needs to conduct further testing to make sure the algorithm works in a variety of conditions and it needs to work on scaling it so it can be used continuously by all Cardiogram users.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple plans to bring its iTunes app to the Windows 10 Store, Microsoft announced today at its Build developer event. iTunes, is, of course, already available on the Windows platform, but adding it to the Windows Store will make it easier for Windows users to find the software. Gaining iTunes for the Windows Store is a win for Microsoft, as the Windows store is currently lacking many key apps like Google's Chrome browser and Spotify. Microsoft has strict app requirements that some companies aren't able to work with. iTunes is coming to the Windows Store by the end of this year. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/WHM533S7Sv— Windows (@Windows) May 11, 2017 The addition of iTunes could potentially drive more customers to use the Windows 10 Store, with iTunes said to be one of the apps that Windows users search for most often. According to Microsoft, iTunes will be added to the Windows Store by the end of this year.Tags: Windows 10, iTunes Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
LG Innotek will supply Apple with 3D facial recognition modules for the iPhone 8, according to The Korea Economic Daily (via The Investor). iPhone 8 concept with two cameras and two sensors by Benjamin Geskin LG, which already supplies Apple with dual-lens camera modules for the rear-facing iSight Duo camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, reportedly plans to build a new $238 million plant for production of the 3D facial recognition modules, which will be part of the iPhone 8's front-facing FaceTime camera system. It's not entirely clear if the front-facing camera will also have dual lenses, or retain a single lens in line with previous iPhone models. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities previously said the iPhone 8 will have a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system with 3D sensing capabilities, fueled by algorithms from PrimeSense, an Israeli company that Apple acquired in 2013. PrimeSense was known for developing Microsoft's first Kinect sensor for Xbox. Kuo said the iPhone 8's front camera system will include two infrared modules that are able to determine the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, with potential applications including facial recognition, iris scanning, and some combination of augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: LG Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits. The acquisition is unusual because it appears Apple plans to keep selling the Beddit hardware while collecting sleep-related data from users. For that reason, we took a look at some of the things Apple might be planning to do with this data and how it might impact future products. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site. Apple appears to have purchased Beddit for its sleep sensing technology. Beddit uses a $150 sleep monitoring device that's placed under the bottom sheet of a mattress, collecting data on everything from sleep time and efficiency to heart rate and respiration. It also tracks movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity to determine factors that might disturb sleep. Beddit's sensor uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions, a non-invasive monitoring technology that's similar to the light-based photoplethysmography the Apple Watch uses to monitor heart rate. With BCG, when the heart beats, it measures the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system, providing a wealth of data about the body. Apple is likely interested in the sensor technology used in the Beddit device, and has indeed hired medical experts who have worked with ballistocardiography in the past, but the data collected also seems to be of interest due to the company's decision to keep selling the Beddit sensor. Beddit's technology and data could be used for any number of things, from advancing sleep research for efforts like HealthKit and CareKit to implementing more advanced health-tracking technology and sleep monitoring functionality into the Apple Watch or other future wearable devices. For the immediate future, it appears Apple will continue to sell the Beddit hardware as part of a standalone brand like Beats, but the company's longer-term plans for Beddit are unknown.Tags: Apple acquisition, Beddit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
The United States Department of Homeland Security may be planning expand its laptop ban, disallowing laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the United States. News of the expanded ban, which could be announced as soon as Thursday, came from European security officials that spoke to The Daily Beast. Passengers flying from Europe to the United States will need to put their laptops in their checked luggage should the ban be expanded to cover European countries. The Department of Homeland Security has not yet made a final decision on whether or not to expand the laptop restrictions, with Security Secretary John Kelly planning to discuss the matter with senators in a classified briefing on Thursday."No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe."A laptop and tablet in-cabin ban was first announced in March on intelligence suggesting terrorists had discovered a way to turn laptops into bombs, but at the time, the ban only applied to passengers flying to the United States from Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. That first ban is still in place. Though The Daily Beast's source says laptops will be banned on all flights from Europe, Reuters says the ban will include "some European countries." The government is said to be reviewing how to make sure lithium batteries stored in luggage holds don't explode before enacting the ban.One issue under discussion is how to ensure that lithium batteries in any large collection of devices stored in airplane holds do not explode in midair, officials told Reuters. European regulators have warned placing what could be potentially hundreds of devices in the hold on long-haul flights could compromise safety by increasing the risk of fire from poorly deactivated lithium-ion batteries.A ban in European countries could impact many United States carriers that offer European flights, including United Airlines, Delta, and American Airlines. Airports and airlines in Europe have reportedly already been working on plans for an extension of the ban since it was first announced. 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.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
iPhone remained the world's most popular smartphone by a significant margin last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the two most popular models specifically, with an estimated 21.5 million and 17.4 million shipments respectively. Chinese brand OPPO's flagship R9 smartphone trailed in third with an estimated 8.9 million shipments, while Samsung's mid-range Galaxy J3 and J5 rounded off the top five with an estimated 6.1 million and 5 million shipments respectively. Other brands combined for an estimated 294.4 million smartphone shipments. Apple reported that it sold 50.8 million iPhones last quarter, but it does not break out sales on a model-by-model basis. Strategy Analytics' estimates suggest the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for roughly 76.5 percent of Apple's smartphone sales last quarter, with the remaining 23.5 percent of sales derived from older models. The data also suggests a 55/45 percent sales split for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus respectively. In late January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 7 Plus is the most popular Plus-sized iPhone that Apple has ever sold, topping both the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6 Plus. Last week, he added that Apple significantly underestimated iPhone 7 Plus demand, resulting in a shortage of the device for several months. iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year as well, according to research firm IHS Markit. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Strategy Analytics Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
A new photo depicting what could be the rear shell for the next-generation iPhone SE or "iPhone 7s" has surfaced on Chinese social network Sina Weibo. The photo was later submitted to leak aggregator Slashleaks. There's no way of telling whether this photo is real or not, but it appears to show a bump-less cutout for a single-lens camera with another cutout for what might be a vertically-aligned LED flash. The document in the photo suggests the iPhone, codenamed N79, could have a strengthened Ion-X glass display like the Apple Watch. If real, the paperwork likely belongs to one of Apple's contract manufacturing partners in Taiwan, such as Foxconn, Pegatron, or Wistron. There's not much else that can be gleaned from the photo, asides from what appears to be more of an iPhone 7-like design, which would be a shift away from an iPhone 5s design if this is indeed for the iPhone SE as Slashleaks suggests. This would be the first next-generation iPhone SE design rumor we've seen so far this year, so treat it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Last year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple is unlikely to release a new iPhone SE in the first half of 2017, suggesting a refresh won't occur before the end of June. If that timeline is accurate, Apple could be planning to announce the next iPhone SE alongside the tentatively named iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 in September. Or, it could wait until spring 2018, given the original iPhone SE launched in March 2016. At this point, it's too early to say. Apple doubled the iPhone SE's storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB a few months ago.Related Roundups: iPhone SE, iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: weibo.com, Slashleaks Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
When Apple Music launched in 2015, one of the biggest complaints from users and critics centered on the somewhat confusing user interface of Apple's first foray into music streaming. Although the app was redesigned last year in iOS 10, concerns were then raised around the oversized nature of Apple Music's new typography and artwork. This week visual design student Jason Yuan, who studies at Northwestern University, has shared a new project that he's been working on the past few months, which was sparked when Apple rejected him for a graphic design internship at Apple Music. Yuan decided to take Apple's rejection, which referenced wanting to see "more growth and training," and turn it into a new passion project focused on a visual overhaul of Apple Music (via The Next Web). He said his redesign provides a few "potential solutions" to the service's problems. At first, I was frustrated — Northwestern University doesn’t offer any sort of undergraduate graphic design program, so whatever growth they were looking for would have to be self taught … but as soon as I came to this realization, I became inspired to embark on what became a a three-month long journey to the holy grail — the iOS app that Apple Music deserves. For me, this was an opportunity to really dig my teeth into UX research and design, an excuse to spend way too much time on Sketch and Principle, a reason to bore everyone around me with my notebook of crudely drawn wireframes … My process was guided by qualitative user research, Apple’s official Design Principles, and my own designer intuition. One of Yuan's first ideas is called "The Sampler," which he pitches as a replacement to "My New Music Mix." The Sampler would be for users "reluctant to sit through an entire playlist full of new music," and would present Apple Music subscribers with samples of songs in a Tinder-like UI that they could swipe up to reject or swipe down to add to their library. These samples would last around 15 seconds and present highlights from the songs in question so users would immediately know if they like the music or not. Any music that is swiped down upon is then saved to Yuan's equivalent of the My New Music Mix, taking out the automatic curation of content currently in place and making it more personalized in Yuan's design. Yuan said that The Sampler was inspired by the idea of gamification, which he argued would allow the user to create "an immediate connection to the music they discover," instead of just taking a shot at what Apple Music serves up to them now. The visual designer also came up with more cohesive branding in Apple Music's album and playlist artwork, which he argued is currently "kind of all over the place," with a mix of collages, 3D typography, and more for various radio stations and activity playlists. To fix this, Yuan focused on the circular bubble art that Apple Music subscribers encounter when signing up for the service -- which also references the iPod click wheel and iPhone contacts -- while subtly altering colors and profile shots for the artist and playlist in question. Yuan went on to address the basic UI complaints currently leveled at Apple Music, reducing the font size and white space of the app's launch tab while also introducing a new "Watch" tab for the service's upcoming slate of TV shows. He eliminated what he argued as extraneous UI additions, like the "Downloaded Music" front page menu option, and personalized For You so it introduces music based on location, time, and even recent social media activity. The current Apple Music (left) compared with Yuan's redesign (right) Connect is gone for good in Yuan's design as well. Truth is, I didn’t see any data from my research that would justify keeping the Connect feed in the app as is. Users were more interested in connecting with friends and family through music (a la Spotify) instead of with artists through a watered-down Twitter. I think Apple should focus on integrating existing social media with Apple Music instead of trying to push yet another one on its already overburdened consumers. There are plenty of other highlights from Yuan's list of redesign ideas, including tweaks to Now Playing, Browse, Search, and how users love or dislike a song. Yuan ended his article saying he's happy with the knowledge he gained and progress he made redesigning Apple Music as a personal project, but never intended the tweaks to be taken seriously by Apple. "I don’t expect the good folks at Apple Music to take anything from this case study," Yuan mentioned. "In fact, I might actually have a heart attack if anyone working on Apple Music stumbles upon this article… but if you’re out there, I hope my work was able to give you some ideas and spark some conversations!" Check out the rest of Yuan's Apple Music changes in his Medium post right here.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Mobile phone leaker @OnLeaks and tech blog @GearIndia posted a series of high-quality renders on Tuesday that claim to be based on leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming OLED iPhone. The images offer perhaps the clearest idea yet of how Apple's redesigned "iPhone 8" with edge-to-edge display may look with the screen powered off, if the company does indeed choose to sign off on a stainless steel-edged, all-glass design. The renders are based on the expectation that the iPhone 8 will be 144mm tall, 71mm wide, and 77mm thick, making it slightly larger than an iPhone 7 but smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus, and slightly thicker than both. The pictures show the smooth front glass of the edge-to-edge OLED display, which is expected to lack any sort of button indentation in favor of an entirely virtual home button. The only visible features appear in a bezeled run-off area housing the microphone hole and a dual-lens front-facing camera, which is rumored to include 3D sensing capabilities, potentially for use in facial/iris recognition or future augmented reality functionality. On the back we can see the widely-rumored vertical orientation of a slightly protruding dual-lens camera, a change from the horizontal arrangement used on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The placement of the Touch ID sensor isn't made explicit on these CAD-based renders and remains the biggest question mark concerning Apple's plans. Sources suggest the company has struggled to embed the Touch ID technology in the OLED display because of production challenges, which may force it to re-locate the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the device, possibly just below the Apple logo. Apple is thought to be testing several prototypes for its redesigned "tenth anniversary" iPhone and rumors have toed and froed over whether production is behind schedule or on course for a September launch, when it is expected to be announced alongside the so-called iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. The last word on the subject comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who implied that this year's shortage could be more "severe" than in previous years, suggesting the phone could be hard to come by for several months after launch.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Onleaks Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently acquired Beddit Sleep Monitor, an app and sleep system designed to monitor daily sleep habits through the iPhone, according to an updated privacy policy posted both on the Beddit website and in the Beddit app when creating an account. A link within the app also directs to the Apple Privacy Policy. As of May 8, the Beddit privacy policy says the following:Beddit has been acquired by Apple. Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy.The Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor, which can be purchased from Apple for $150, is a thin, flexible sensor that's designed to be placed under the sheet on the top of a mattress. It collects and analyzes sleep-related data like sleep time and efficiency, heart rate, respiration, movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity. All of the data collected by the Beddit Sleep Monitor is then made available to iPhone users through an accompanying Beddit iPhone app, which provides "personalized insights" and "customizable sleep coaching" to help users improve their sleep habits. According to the Beddit website, the device uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions. When the heart beats, for example, the Beddit sensor can measure the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system. Based on the changes to the Beddit privacy policy, it appears Apple may have plans to continue selling the device and collecting health-related data from it, which could potentially be used to enhance future versions of products like the Apple Watch.Tags: Apple acquisition, Beddit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
There have been several rumors suggesting the upcoming OLED "iPhone 8" could potentially be delayed due to production delays, and in a new note to investors sent out today, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reiterates his prediction that production ramp-up will be delayed. According to Kuo, who titled his note "Rising probability of worst-case scenario for iPhone shipments," production ramp-up of the iPhone 8 could be delayed to "as late as October-November," a departure from Apple's traditional August to September ramp-up period. The result will be "severe supply shortages" that persist for "a while" after the new iPhone models are introduced in September. To be clear, Kuo continues to believe Apple will introduce the iPhone in September, but he suggests there's a strong possibility the device will be hard to come by for several months following its release. "iPhone 8" mockup with rear Touch ID sensor by Benjamin Geskin Due to the possible iPhone 8 shortages, Kuo believes Apple may only ship 80 to 90 million iPhone units during the second half of 2017, down from 100 to 110 million units. Kuo does say it's not clear if demand will fully shift to the iPhone 8, due to questions about the usefulness of a rumored 3D sensor, the potential for Touch ID to be eliminated, and market competition.While we are positive on potential replacement demand triggered by OLED iPhone, it's too early to determine if demand will shift fully in that direction. We recommend investors keep tabs on the following issues: (1) whether the 3D sensor of OLED iPhone provides an innovative user experience; (2) whether OLED iPhone cancels Touch ID (fingerprint recognition); and (3) whether Apple's competitors launch more innovative products which could compete with OLED iPhone in 4Q17-2Q18.It is not unusual for us to hear rumors of production delays and supply shortages ahead of an iPhone release, and indeed, the iPhone 7 Plus was constrained for months after its launch, but the warnings about the iPhone 8 are popping up more frequently from trusted sources and are more dire than warnings we've seen for past iPhone release cycles. Rumors have suggested that Apple is struggling with integrating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor underneath the glass of the iPhone 8, which has led to production difficulties. Due to these issues, rumors have also indicated that Apple could potentially put Touch ID on the back of the device or perhaps more unlikely, eliminate it entirely in favor of other biometric systems, like facial recognition. Kuo has not mentioned removing Touch ID entirely in previous research notes, but the wording of today's document seems to suggest he believes it's a possibility. Apple is also said to be having trouble with the display lamination process and integrating a new 3D sensing front camera system into the device. Given the major design changes coming in the iPhone 8, including an edge-to-edge OLED display and a glass body, it is not surprising to hear that many of the new technologies involved are causing production problems. Some rumors have suggested Apple could delay the debut of the iPhone 8 entirely, not introducing it in September, but most rumors believe the company will show it off at the event and perhaps launch it in small quantities.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Ming-Chi Kuo Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today sent press invites to a variety of news and media sites for its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, confirming plans to hold a keynote event on June 5 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple traditionally holds a keynote event on the first day of the Worldwide Developers Conference, where new software is introduced. We expect to see new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS at the conference, and there's a chance we could also see new hardware like updated iMacs and Apple's rumored Siri speaker. As was announced in February, the Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 5 to June 9 in San Jose, California, a departure from past events that have long been held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. Tickets, which were priced at $1,599, were distributed by random selection at the end of March, and free tickets provided to scholarship winners were also handed out in April. Apple expects to host about 5,000 developers, with hundreds of Apple engineers available to answer questions and host app development sessions. Developers who cannot attend will be able to watch the sessions through the WWDC 2017 website, and the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. For the June 5 keynote event, MacRumors will provide a live blog both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, along with detailed coverage of everything Apple announces during the week.Related Roundup: WWDC 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
MacRumors has learned that Apple is planning to quickly refurbish several of its retail stores after closing time on May 16, with the overnight transformations to be completed by the time each store reopens on May 17. Many older and smaller Apple Stores that have yet to be fully renovated with the company's next-generation retail design will receive new fixtures that mirror the updated look and feel as much as possible, according to a source. It's unclear how many stores will be involved, but we've learned it's a worldwide effort. Apple plans to replace its existing accessory shelves in each store with what it calls the Avenue, as pictured above, a person familiar with the matter said. Apple will also be adding more "feature bays" to each store for displaying products and accessories, and new stools for the Genius Bar and other seating areas. Here's how Apple described the Avenue when it opened its flagship Union Square store in San Francisco last year:“The Avenue,” inspired by the window displays along a boulevard that dynamically change with the season. Avenue walls are interactive themed “windows” where Apple’s products and services come to life, from music, to creativity, apps, photography and more. New “Creative Pros,” Apple experts in creative arts, offer advice and expertise at each of the displays. Customers will also find “Only at Apple” products on the Avenue, a curated collection of third-party accessories.Apple will significantly reduce the number of accessories it keeps on display on the sales floor, but it will still have ample stock in the back of the store, the person said. A customer interested in purchasing an accessory that isn't readily shelved can simply ask an employee, who will grab it from the back. Apple has over 35 next-generation retail stores around the world, including locations in Brussels, Dubai, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and elsewhere. It has also fully updated and expanded many existing stores with the new look, but those larger renovations usually take several months. Apple has 460 other retail stores, however, and this quick facelift will bring many of them closer in line with the newer aesthetics.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
With Amazon having launched the Echo Show, a new Alexa-enabled smart speaker that comes equipped with a 7-inch screen, Bloomberg has shared a little tidbit on Apple's own speaker plans, making it clear that there's still no concrete information on whether Apple's speaker will include a display. In a piece outlining Amazon's new speaker, Bloomberg references a comment made recently by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, where he said that a voice assistant in a device without a screen doesn't "suit many situations."While marketing chief Phil Schiller recently talked up the benefits of having a screen on a voice-activated device, it's not clear whether the Apple version will in fact have one.Rumors of Apple's work on some kind of in-home Siri-based smart speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo first surfaced in early 2016, but while the speaker is said to be close to launching, details remain scant. The new Amazon Echo Show We've heard it will feature Siri integration and focus heavily on sound quality, with "excellent acoustics performance" and some form of Beats technology. Design details shared in late April said it would feature a Mac Pro-style concave top with built-in controls and a "fat" body with speaker mesh covering the majority of the device, but no display was mentioned. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the speaker has a 50 percent chance of debuting at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference coming in June, and as Bloomberg first mentioned in September (and reiterates again today) the speaker is currently being tested within the homes of Apple employees, so it may not be long before we have more concrete details about the device. Based on today's Bloomberg report, Apple's speaker will have one benefit over the Amazon Echo and Google Home - native Apple Music integration. Amazon devices chief Dave Limp told Bloomberg that while Amazon would "love to have Apple" the company is "not super big" on allowing Apple Music integration. For more details on Apple's upcoming Siri speaker, make sure to check out our dedicated roundup, which aggregates all of the information we've heard about the device so far. More information about Amazon's Echo Show can be found in our launch article.Related Roundup: Siri Smart Speaker Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams have been named to TIME's list of The 20 Most Influential People in Tech Right Now. Cook ranked fourth for his "nearly unmatched influence over the technology world" as head of the world's most valuable company.Anything Apple does is bound to be copied by a seemingly endless number of rivals, meaning his choices will reverberate far beyond One Infinite Loop. Today, Apple is rumored to be experimenting with everything from advanced artificial intelligence to augmented reality and self-driving vehicles. Given Apple’s role as tastemaker extraordinaire, how Cook decides to move forward with any one of these projects will shape the future of the consumer technology landscape.Cook finished behind Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the list. Williams ranked 17th for his "no small task" of overseeing Apple's entire supply chain since 2010 as Cook's right-hand man.Cook may be the public face and chief decision maker at Apple, but Jeff Williams is second in command. An Apple veteran who’s been with the company for nearly 20 years, Williams is often referred to as "Tim Cook's Tim Cook." He was named chief operating officer in late 2015, a post previously held by Cook, and has been overseeing Apple's entire supply chain since 2010, no small task given the complexity of the company’s hardware operations. Williams also oversaw development of the Apple Watch, the company’s first new product category during the Cook era and a sign he’s closely involved with new projects.Some others that made the list include IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Tags: Tim Cook, Jeff Williams, TIME Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's retail chief Angela Ahrendts and top lawyer Bruce Sewell each sold over $10 million in company stock over the past week, according to a pair of disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pursuant to her trading plan adopted in February, Ahrendts sold 75,000 shares of Apple stock between May 4 and May 8, netting nearly $11.1 million based on the weighted average sale price of the five transactions. Ahrendts still owns 103,116 shares in Apple following the sale, worth nearly $16 million. Sewell sold 67,500 shares of Apple stock in multiple transactions on May 5, netting just over $10 million based on the weighted average sale price. Sewell still owns 141,325 shares in Apple following the sale, worth nearly $22 million. Ahrendts has served as Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail since 2014, overseeing the company's physical and online storefronts. Under her leadership, Apple has been renovating several of its stores, partly in an effort to turn them into community gathering places rather than just sales floors. Sewell has served as Apple's General Counsel since 2009, overseeing all legal matters, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy. He came into the spotlight last year twice during separate battles with the FBI and Spotify. Tags: Angela Ahrendts, AAPL, SEC, Bruce Sewell Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Amazon today debuted an all-new touchscreen Echo device, which it's calling the "Echo Show," following a report from yesterday that said the company was gearing up to debut the new Echo as soon as today. As was expected, the Echo Show is a smart home speaker system that has all of the features of the basic Echo system with an additional 7-inch touchscreen. With the addition of a touchscreen, Amazon said that users will be able to watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, check on security cameras, swipe through photos, view weather forecasts, make to-do and shopping lists, and more. Far-field voice recognition, eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation allow users to be heard from anywhere in the room, as well as over loud music coming from the Echo Show itself. One of the biggest additions with Echo Show is a new video chat experience that allows users to make hands-free calls to friends who also have an Echo Show, or who use the Alexa smartphone app. A Feature called "Drop In" lets users quickly contact or send messages to other Echo Show devices to do things like let someone know it's time for dinner, or check in on a child's nursery. The Echo Show will connect to smart home products like Hue and Wink, and allow for simple daily tasks like timing food in the kitchen and catching up with the news. For news and information you can see and hear, just ask Alexa for your video flash briefing from CNN. Curious about the latest movie trailers or a need a how-to video from YouTube? Just ask. Echo Show helps keep you organized at home. Start a timer in the kitchen and watch as it counts down, or easily see and manage your family’s calendar. Sign in to the Alexa App to take your to-do and shopping lists with you. Just add an item to the list from home, and whoever is out shopping will see it added instantly on their Alexa App. The Amazon Echo Show is the latest in a long line of Amazon smart home speakers, following the original Echo, Echo Dot, and most recently the Echo Look. While Amazon sits on top of the market for these voice-controlled speakers, more companies are looking to add similar products into their line-ups. This week, Harman Kardon teased the upcoming launch of a speaker with Microsoft's Cortana built in, with an aesthetic very similar to Echo. Apple has long been rumored to be getting into the smart home speaker market as well, with plans to launch a device that would be visually similar to Google Home and have deep Siri integration, as well as the usual Apple services like Apple Music and iCloud. Rumors about such a device began around this time last year, and Apple is now believed to debut the Siri smart speaker as soon as WWDC in June. Although a screen on the Siri device has not been mentioned in rumors, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller recently mentioned that having a screen available suits more user-friendly situations than a device that exclusively uses voice controls. "So there's many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn't mean you'd never want a screen," Schiller said. "So the idea of not having a screen, I don't think suits many situations." The Amazon Echo Show is available to pre-order right now in black and white for $229.99 and will begin shipping June 28. Those who purchase two Echo Show devices at once can save $100 off of the order with a special promotion that Amazon is debuting for the launch of the new speaker.Tags: Amazon, Amazon Echo Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Amazon is planning to update its Amazon Echo line with a new speaker that includes a screen and video calling capabilities, reports The Wall Street Journal. The upcoming speaker will feature a 7-inch touchscreen, used to make internet-based video/telephone calls and display visual results for spoken queries. Camera functionality could also be included, mirroring the capabilities of the recently introduced Echo Look. Amazon's existing Echo speakerThe new Echo screen device will likely support some of the same functionality as the Echo Look, which will enable consumers to take videos and photos of their outfits and compare them via algorithms, according to one of the people. It is unclear why Amazon is launching the two devices so close together or how the market segments they target may differ.Amazon may be planning to unveil the speaker, which has been in beta testing for a few months, as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9. Amazon's existing Echo device is currently priced at $150, but it normally sells for $180. The new speaker is expected to be sold for over $200, due to the included display. Along with the new speaker, Amazon is also said to be planning to roll out telephone services to existing Echo devices over the next few weeks. To begin with, intercom functionality may be available, allowing two Echo devices to communicate with one another. The imminent launch of an Amazon Echo device with a display comes as Apple is rumored to be nearing the final stages of development on its own Siri-based speaker, which would compete with the Echo and the Google Home. Rumors have not suggested Apple's upcoming device will include a display, but Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller recently made some comments suggesting voice-activated smart speakers would be better with screens. According to Schiller, a voice assistant without a screen doesn't "suit many situations," especially when it comes to social networking services, photos, and games.I have yet to see any voice-only games that, for me, are nearly as fun as the one that I play on my screen. And so I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they're gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this.Amazon's new Echo product will be the first of the in-home smart speakers that includes a display. Apple's own device, which is said to include Siri integration and "excellent acoustics performance," reportedly has an "over 50 percent chance" of debuting at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.Related Roundup: Siri Smart Speaker Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
When T-Mobile first began offering cellular iPads in the fall of 2013, the company included a plan that provided customers with 200MB of free LTE data each month for the life of the tablet, a promotion that is now coming to an end. As noted by TmoNews, T-Mobile has updated its Free Data for Life support page to note that the program is no longer available for new activations as of May 7, 2017. Customers who signed up for Free Data for Life on or before May 6, 2017, are able to keep the 200MB data plan with their current iPads so long as they continue to be T-Mobile subscribers. T-Mobile's free data plan has always been tied to a specific device rather than an account, so when upgrading to a new iPad, customers who use Free Data for Life will not be able to keep the data plan. Going forward, no new tablets that are released will be eligible for the program.Important: As of May 7, 2017, Free Data for Life is no longer available for new activations. If you signed up for FDFL on or before May 6, 2017, you can keep it with your current tablet as long as you own and use your tablet with T-Mobile.Free Data for Life was originally introduced as one of T-Mobile's Un-carrier initiatives, and T-Mobile was the only company to offer a free data plan for iPads. T-Mobile currently offers just one data plan, T-Mobile One, with unlimited data. T-Mobile One customers can add a tablet to their plans for $20 per month.Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple-owned Workflow was updated to version 1.7.4 today, re-introducing features that were removed when Apple acquired the app and adding new Apple Music actions. For those unfamiliar with Workflow, it's an automation tool that can be used to create a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks like creating GIFs from photos, pulling images from a website, calculating a tip, posting photos to multiple social networks at once, and much more. When Apple purchased Workflow back in March, several actions were removed, but support for Google Chrome and Pocket has now been re-added and workflows involving those apps are now functional once again. Along with support for Google Chrome and Pocket, today's update introduces new actions for Apple Music users. There's now an "Add Music to Up Next" action and a "Clear Up Next" action for automatically adding content to an Apple Music playlist. Today's update also includes a long list of bug fixes, which are outlined below:- Get Distance now supports getting the distance from a specified location - The order of items passed from a Dictionary action to Choose from List is now preserved - Fixed getting prices for books in Search iTunes Store - Fixed making archives with special characters in the filename on iOS 10.3 and later - Fixed an issue where workflow glyphs in the Today Widget may be stretched and cut off - Fixed an issue where latitude and longitude may be formatted incorrectly in international locales - Fixed an issue where .wflow files may fail to open on iOS 10.3 and later - Fixed an issue where improperly formatted URLs from Pinboard could cause Workflow to crash - Fixed an issue where booleans may not update when their value is changed inside dictionary fields - Fixed an issue where handing off clipboard content from the Today Widget or Action Extension may throw a "The file Clipboard could not be opened" error - Fixed an issue that could cause Workflow to crash on launch - Other bug fixes and minor additionsWhen Apple purchased Workflow, the Workflow team said app integrations and the Gallery would be updated on a regular basis, but a later report suggested Apple planned no more updates. Based on today's update, which adds new features, that report was incorrect. Though two new actions have been re-introduced, there are still features missing from the Workflow app. Maps actions are restricted to Apple Maps, and translating text only works with Microsoft's translation services. Other previous app actions, including Uber, Telegram, and LINE, are still unavailable.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Mother's Day takes place in the United States this Sunday, May 14, and Apple is gearing up to launch an all-new challenge in the Activity app for Apple Watch owners in order to celebrate the national holiday. The challenge will begin showing up in the Activity app this Friday, May 12, but will only be open on Sunday. To accomplish the challenge, users will have to complete a walk, run, or wheelchair workout that lasts for one mile or longer on Mother's Day. Users who meet that goal will get a Mother's Day achievement in the Activity app, and a sticker to use in Messages. The challenge will only be available to Apple Watch owners in the United States (via 9to5Mac). "Earn this rose badge and a special Messages sticker on Mother's Day. Just do a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of a mile or more in the Workout app or in any third party app that writes these workouts to Health." Mother's Day will mark the fourth public challenge that Apple has debuted for Apple Watch owners, coming after a 3.1-mile workout on Thanksgiving, an Activity ring competition in January to celebrate the New Year, and a 30-minute outdoor exercise on Earth Day. Apple Watch owners can track their Mother's Day workout through Apple's own Workout app, or using any third party app that can connect and track exercise data through the Health app. Similar to the previous Activity challenges, users will have only the designated window -- in this case, one day -- to complete their workout before the achievement and sticker are no longer able to be earned.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tags: Mother's Day, Activity Challenge Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's stock is currently trading above the $150 mark for the first time ever, after factoring in a 7-for-1 split in 2014, giving the company a record-high market cap of nearly $790 billion. That means Apple is just over $200 billion away from becoming the world's first trillion dollar company. Google Finance shows Apple flirting with the $800 billion mark today, but the tool appears to be overcounting the company's number of outstanding shares, which totaled 5,225,791,000 as of last quarter. Apple's outstanding shares have declined as the company continues its share buyback program. Apple's stock price will actually need to hit around $153 based on basic outstanding shares, or around $152 based on diluted outstanding shares, for a true $800 billion capitalization. Either way, it's close. Apple's stock has been on an impressive run since dropping to as low as $89.47 in 2016, when the iPhone maker reported its first decline in annual revenue since 2001, and its first drop in iPhone sales ever. Apple analyst Brian White of Wall Street investment firm Drexel Hamilton continues to believe Apple "remains among the most underappreciated stocks in the world," with "attractive upside" for investors. White raised his 12-month price target for Apple's stock to $202 today, up from an already bullish $185. An excerpt from White's research note, distributed today and obtained by MacRumors:Apple's valuation has been depressed for years as investors grew concerned that Apple would fall victim to the missteps of consumer electronic companies of the past. However, Apple has proven its resilience through its unique ability to develop hardware, software and services that work seamlessly together. We believe this positions Apple very well to capitalize on the trend toward more "things" becoming a computer.White's price target implies that Apple could become the world's first trillion dollar company within the next year. Apple shares trading for $202 would currently give the company a market cap of around $1.05 trillion. Over a dozen prominent Wall Street analysts remain upbeat about Apple's stock price heading into the second half of the year, with lots of excitement surrounding the significantly redesigned "iPhone 8" expected to launch in the fall. The smartphone's sales may be boosted by a large "supercycle" of users due to upgrade. Apple's stock had briefly declined to as low as $144.27 last week after its second quarter earnings results fell slightly below Wall Street expectations, but the drop proved to be only a blip on the radar.Tags: Brian White, AAPL Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Following a few reports from last year that centered upon Apple's intent to restore the historic Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. and outfit it as a prime destination for Apple retail, the company has now shared a few renderings and details about the location with The Washington Post. The location will be home to Apple's new "Today at Apple" events, which will include concerts, art exhibitions, photography classes, coding sessions, and more. Still a retail location, Apple will generate customer interest in purchasing a new product through its Genius Grove, where users can get product assistance on a tree-lined sales floor. The Genius Grove will be located where the Carnegie Library's book collection was previously housed. What long ago were reading rooms would become places to browse and sample Apple products. “This is a way of creating a reason to come to the store, to touch and feel our products, but also to have an engaging experience with someone who is passionate about the same thing,” said B.J. Siegel, Apple Retail’s senior design director. One of Apple's major intentions for the Carnegie Library location is to make its presence there subtle while restoring the building to its "original grandeur." The Apple logo won't be prominently featured on the sides of the Carnegie Library, and the company hopes that it will "take a little work to find the store’s signage and logo." In the render below, the logo appears as small double signage flanking the main entrance to the building. Carnegie Library is said to take on the history-focused renovations of previous Apple retail locations, including Apple Opéra in Paris and the upcoming location in Brooklyn. Although Apple plans a few changes to Carnegie Library, like a major new skylight above a central events area, the company's intent to find and preserve historic landmarks beloved by a local community is "part and parcel to the experience Apple is trying to create," according to Apple Retail senior design director B.J. Siegel. Rather than plastering the buildings with the company’s logo, Apple’s designers say they will focus on restoring the building’s historic character. It can take a little work to find the store’s signage and logo — which is the point. “For us, it wasn’t about coming in and leaving our mark,” Siegel said. “It was about bringing the history back out and respecting it.” “We’ve discovered that big garish logos on historic buildings don’t work very well, so often we try to find more subtle ways to brand the building,” he added. For its part, the Washington, D.C. government is on Apple's side, with mayor Muriel E. Bowser stating that Apple's location in Carnegie Library "could link D.C.’s rich history to our continued economic renaissance, will demonstrate the strength of our retail market, and will tell companies across the globe that the District is open for business." The Historical Society of Washington D.C. will remain in offices on the second floor of the building. Later this evening, Apple is set to present its plans to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Washington, D.C., but the exact opening date for the Carnegie Library location has not yet been set.Tag: Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has initiated a new three-year service policy for the Smart Keyboard for both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple has determined that some Smart Keyboards may experience "functional issues" during use, such as the Smart Connector not working or certain keys sticking, repeating, or not responding, according to an internal memo distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers last week. Apple says it will service any qualifying Smart Keyboard free of charge within three years of the date it was originally purchased. We recommend affected customers call an Apple Store to schedule a Genius Bar appointment or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to initiate the repair process. Affected customers can also contact Apple support by phone, online chat, or email by selecting iPad > iPad Accessories on this page. Due to the newness of this service policy, some Apple support employees may be unfamiliar with its existence, in which case we recommend escalating your request to a senior AppleCare advisor.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tags: Smart Keyboard, AASP Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Don't Buy), 12.9" iPad Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will begin selling its new range of iPhones in October this year following a September unveiling, according to a report out on Monday. Previous rumors have claimed that Apple will struggle to meet its usual fall launch timeframe for its upcoming OLED iPhone, which is set to debut alongside two more typical LCD models, with several sources claiming the "tenth anniversary" phone faces a possible delay late into the fourth quarter because of production yield rate issues. Japanese site Mac Otakara earlier this year suggested the "iPhone 8" would launch "very much" behind the the LCD models, while KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will debut the OLED iPhone in September, but the device will face "severe supply shortages" until as late as October-November, two months later than previous ramp-ups in August-September. Similar delayed production rumors have been circulated by analysts and media outlets in recent months. In contrast, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claimed on Monday that there will be no delay for the launch of the next-generation phones, signaling the usual ramp-up in the production of parts related to the iPhone beginning next month. Upstream to downstream suppliers in the iPhone supply chains, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), SLP (substrate-like PCB) makers Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology, and battery supplier Simplo Technology, are ready to ramp up related iPhone parts starting June. TSMC will begin to fabricate the wafer starts needed for the production of A11 processors on June 10 and to deliver the chips in volume quantity in the second half of July, the report indicated.Both Zhen Ding and Kinsus have reportedly managed to improve the yield rates of SLP products which will allow for volume production of the materials in June. Meanwhile, iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Winston, and Pegatron are said to be accelerating the recruitment and training of new workers in China in preparation of mass production of the new iPhone. Apple has a major redesign planned for the "iPhone 8", with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that may include an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor if the company can overcome the technical challenges involved. Other potential features include wireless charging, a vertically oriented rear dual-lens camera, and a front-facing camera with 3D sensing and facial recognition capabilities. The OLED iPhone is expected to be sold alongside upgraded (but standard) 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones. (Via DigiTimes.)Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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