posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is expected to adopt a forged stainless steel crafting process for its glass-encased "iPhone 8", rather than use traditional aluminum CNC machining. Taiwanese sources from the upstream supply chain apparently confirmed the transition on Tuesday, according to DigiTimes, with component orders expected to be shared between Foxconn and U.S.-based Jabil. Edge-to-edge iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhoneThe next-generation iPhone is expected to abandon its conventional aluminum back cover design and will adopt a new design using two reinforced glass panes and a metal frame in the middle. The metal bezel will be made of stainless steel using a forging process to enhance its sturdiness and reduce costs and manufacturing time.The stainless steel process was last used by Apple in the iPhone 4s handset, which encased a "glass sandwich" chassis in two CNC-machined steel bands. However, every succeeding iPhone iteration has used aluminum because the alloy offers heightened structural rigidity while remaining relatively lightweight. Supply chain sources said the cost of the forging process is between 30 percent and 50 percent cheaper than the current unibody CNC machine process, while quality control is also more stable. Despite the switch, Apple is expected to continue outsourcing orders for internal structural parts to Catcher Technology and Casetek, because the stainless steel bezel will require further refinement using traditional CNC machining. Today's report supports recent rumors indicating at least one model of iPhone this year will have a redesigned all-glass body with a steel frame housing an edge-to-edge, curved OLED display. Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years, and glass is also necessary if Apple wants to introduce wireless charging. If an edge-to-edge display does feature, the home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be embedded in the display. Apple is said to be planning to position the OLED iPhone 8 as a "Premium" model that will perhaps be sold alongside standard flat display 4.7, 5, and 5.5-inch iPhone models, but details relating to size, configurations, and materials used remain sketchy. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: digitimes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple and German company Carl Zeiss AG are working together on a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that could be announced as soon as this year, claims well-known blogger Robert Scoble in a Facebook post. According to Scoble, a Zeiss employed allegedly confirmed the partnership between the two companies in a conversation that took place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. Zeiss' booth at CES. Image via Robert Scoble Scoble questioned the Zeiss employees at the show after noticing Zeiss had a booth in the augmented reality section of CES without showing off an augmented reality product. He believes Apple forced Zeiss to keep quiet about an upcoming release. Exclusive news: Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality optics. [...] A Zeiss employee confirmed the rumors that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year. (I thought it was next year but now that I saw this I believe it will happen this year).It's not clear how reliable Scoble's information is, but previous rumors have suggested Apple is working on a set of smart glasses that would connect wirelessly to the iPhone and display images and other information to the wearer. Apple is said to have contacted suppliers about the project, which appears to be in the exploratory prototyping phase of development. While Scoble believes the glasses could be released in 2017, previous information points towards a 2018 or later release. Apple has a full team dedicated to AR/VR research and exploring how the technologies can be incorporated into future products. Multiple times over the past year, Tim Cook has said that Apple has a deep interest in augmented reality. "AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We're high on AR in the long run," he said in July. Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Tags: Robert Scoble, Zeiss Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's upcoming Carpool Karaoke series will feature a different host every episode, according to new details on the show shared by Variety. Based on James Corden's Carpool Karaoke bit during the "Late Late Show," Apple's version will feature a format "that is more of an interview series" with rotating hosts. Carpool Karaoke, which doesn't yet have an air date, will consist of 16 half hour episodes that will air on Apple Music and perhaps iTunes. Apple purchased rights to the show, executive produced by Eric Pankowski, Ben Winston, and James Corden, back in July of 2016. A Carpool Karaoke segment on The Late Late Show According to Winston, it was "silly" to try and replicate Corden's format because it is so "special and singular." Instead, Corden says pairings will include "outside-the-box" pairings like Billy Eichner and Metallica alongside traditional music choices like Alicia Keys and Ariana Grande."We're really excited about the pairings we're putting together," Corden said. Those pairings include more traditional musical choices like John Legend and Alicia Keys and Seth MacFarlane and Ariana Grande, but also more outside-the-box choices like Billy Eichner in the passenger seat, surrounded by the band Metallica, or former NFL star and talk show host Michael Strahan and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.The trio of producers says the idea to go outside the traditional music pairings came from "immense demand" from non-musical stars who wanted to appear on Corden's show."We wouldn't do Will Smith on ['Late Late Show']," Winston said. "So many people have been getting in touch with us, big movie stars, and we're like that's not really for us, but here with Apple Music it's perfect."Apple is using original television programming to promote its growing services business. Along with Carpool Karaoke, Apple is also working on "Vital Signs," a drama starring Dr. Dre, and "Planet of the Apps," a reality television show focused on the App Store.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the public on Saturday, a number of automakers have debuted new CarPlay-supported vehicles, including models with first-time compatibility from Audi, Honda, and General Motors brands Chevrolet and GMC. Audi SQ5 Audi today announced the 2018 SQ5 crossover supports both CarPlay and Android Auto, a first for the SQ5, while the Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet with CarPlay support are also making their North American debuts at the show. The latter two models were first announced alongside the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Volkswagen confirmed to us that all 2018 Atlas models will feature CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time through VW App-Connect. The all-new 2018 Tiguan debuting at the show will likewise be compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto via VW App-Connect, in line with 2016 and 2017 models of the vehicle. Other first-time CarPlay vehicles debuting in Detroit this week include the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, 2018 Honda Odyssey, and 2018 GMC Terrain Denali. The new 2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Volvo V90 both support CarPlay as well, but previous model years of these vehicles were compatible as well. BMW's new 5 Series will be on display as one of the first vehicles—a few other BMWs have it—with wireless CarPlay support built in. Last week, Alpine announced the first aftermarket CarPlay receiver, model number iLX-107, that will be available in February for a suggested price of $900. It features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. While the 2017 Maxima supports CarPlay, Nissan confirmed to us that the 2017 Rogue Sport is not compatible with Apple's software at this time. The 2018 Camry and 2018 Lexus LS debuting at the show are also incompatible, as Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus have chosen competing platforms over CarPlay. CarPlay is available in over 200 vehicle models worldwide, providing hands-free or eyes-free access to common iPhone apps such as Maps, Messages, Music, Phone, and Podcasts, and select third-party apps such as Spotify. Apple maintains a CarPlay vehicles list on its website, although it is not always instantly up to date.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tags: Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, GM, GMC, Honda, Audi Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update to developers, three weeks after seeding the second 10.12.3 beta and almost a month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.2, the second update to the macOS Sierra operating system. The macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to Apple's release notes, the 10.12.3 update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." No specific changes, bug fixes, or feature additions were discovered in the first two betas, but we'll update this post should any new features be found in the third beta. Oftentimes, with bug fixes, it's hard to tell what's included until Apple supplies detailed release notes with a release. The previous update, macOS 10.12.2, introduced several important bug fixes to resolve battery life issues, fix graphics problems, and more. Available since September, macOS Sierra is the latest Mac operating system. It includes Siri support, Apple Pay for the web, Universal Clipboard, Apple Watch auto unlocking, improved iCloud Drive integration, Picture-in-Picture multitasking, and dozens of smaller features that can be found in our macOS Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2.1 update to developers, three weeks after seeding the second iOS 10.2.1 beta and nearly a month after releasing iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the third iOS 10.2.1 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. It isn't yet known what features are included in iOS 10.2.1, but as a minor 10.2.x update, it appears to focus on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. No new features were discovered in the first two iOS 10.2.1 betas, but we'll update this post if any changes are found in the third beta. iOS 10.2.1 follows the release of iOS 10.2, a significant update that brought Unicode 9 emoji, a new TV app, Messages Screen Effects, Music improvements, and a whole slew of bug fixes.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed device like the iPod, or an open platform like the Mac, a discussion that Schiller said was ultimately "shut down" by then-CEO Steve Jobs.Steve Jobs shut down the discussion, Schiller recalls. “He said ‘We don’t have to keep debating this because we can’t have [an open system] right now. Maybe we’ll change our mind afterwards, or maybe we won’t, but for now there isn’t one so let’s envision this world where we solve the problem with great built-in apps and a way for developers to make web apps.”Levy suggested that the iPhone's great moment was when the App Store launched a year later, creating a world where for "every imaginable activity" there was "an app for that." Schiller, perhaps unsurprisingly as Apple's marketing chief, said that belief undermines how truly "earth-shattering" the iPhone was at the time.“That undervalues how earth-shattering the iPhone was when it first came to market, and we all first got them and fell in love with them,” he says. “iPhone made the idea of a smartphone real. It really was a computer in your pocket. The idea of real internet, real web browser, Multi-Touch. There were so many things that are core to what is the smartphone today, that created a product that customers fell in love with, that then also demanded more stuff on them, more apps.” Nowadays, some critics are wondering whether Apple is playing it safe as of late, arguing that recent iPhone models have only incremental improvements rather than revolutionary new features. But, again, Schiller downplayed this notion and said the changes in more recent iPhones are "sometimes even bigger now."“I actually think the leaps in the later versions are as big and sometimes even bigger now,” he says. “I think our expectations are changing more, not the leaps in the products. If you look through every version—from the original iPhone to the iPhone 3G to the 4 to the 4S, you see great changes all throughout. You see screen size change from three and a half inch to four inch to four point seven and five point five. You see cameras going through incredible change, from the first camera that couldn’t shoot video, to then having both a front and a backside camera, to now three cameras with the stuff we’re doing, and with live photos and 4K video.”Schiller positioned the iPhone as a top smartphone. "The quality is unmatched. The ease of use is still unmatched. The integration of hardware software is unmatched. We’re not about the cheapest, we’re not about the most, we’re about the best." In a press release yesterday, Schiller said Apple is "just getting started" with the iPhone, while CEO Tim Cook promised "the best is yet to come." Building upon those comments, Schiller told Levy that he hopes in 50 years, people will indeed look back and realize how much was yet to come.Schiller hopes that 50 years people will look back at this point and say, “Wow, they didn’t realize how much was to come — in fact, others missed it because they were busy running around looking for other things. Everyone has their opinions at this point, but it could be that we’re only in the first minutes of the first quarter of the game,” he says. “I believe this product is so great that it has many years of innovation ahead.”Levy, however, went on to question "whether a pocket-sized device like the iPhone will still be as relevant decades hence," particularly as "a lot of observers have been saying we are at the start of the era of the conversational interface." At CES last week, for example, a number of reputable publications said Amazon's Alexa platform "stole the show" or offered similar accolades, after companies showed off everything from new cars and robots to fridges and laundry machines integrated with the voice-controlled assistant, which launched in late 2014. Apple itself had an early lead in this artificial intelligence space when it debuted Siri on the iPhone 4s in 2011. Schiller opined that "the best intelligent assistant is the one that's with you all the time," such as the iPhone. Schiller added that "people are forgetting the value and importance of the display," which he said is "not going to go away."“I'm so glad the team years ago set out to create Siri — I think we do more with that conversational interface that anyone else. Personally, I still think the best intelligent assistant is the one that’s with you all the time. Having my iPhone with me as the thing I speak to is better than something stuck in my kitchen or on a wall somewhere.” “People are forgetting the value and importance of the display,” he says. “Some of the greatest innovations on iPhone over the last ten years have been in display. Displays are not going to go away. We still like to take pictures and we need to look at them, and a disembodied voice is not going to show me what the picture is.”Full-Length Article: Phil Schiller on iPhone’s Launch, How It Changed Apple, and Why It Will Keep Going for 50 YearsTag: Phil Schiller Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco. In what has become one of the most iconic moments in Apple's storied history, Jobs teased the device as if it were three separate products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. Apple began selling the iPhone six months later, and nearly a decade later, the company has now sold well over 1 billion of them to customers around the world. iPhone sales continued to rise on an annual basis until 2016, when the smartphone experienced its first-ever year-over-year sales decline amid a down year for Apple. Nevertheless, the iPhone remains Apple's most successful product ever, accounting for 60% of the company's overall revenue last quarter. "iPhone is an essential part of our customers' lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come." Apple upended the mobile phone industry that was then dominated by earlier entrants such as Nokia and BlackBerry, two companies that are effectively out of the market today. Jobs poked fun at "smartphones" of the era, quipping they were "not so smart" and "not so easy to use," while criticizing outdated hardware features such as physical keyboards and styli. In turn, he introduced revolutionary new features such as Multi-Touch to big rounds of applause. Since then, Apple has improved the iPhone each year by adding several new features:• 2008: App Store and 3G network support • 2009: Video recording and Personal Hotspot • 2010: Retina display • 2011: Siri and iCloud • 2012: Taller 4-inch screen, Lightning connector, and LTE • 2013: Touch ID • 2014: Larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens • 2015: 3D Touch, Live Photos, and 4K video recording • 2016: Waterproofing and dual-lens camera on iPhone 7 Plus"It is amazing that from the very first iPhone through to today's newest iPhone 7 Plus, it has remained the gold standard by which all other smartphones are judged. For many of us, iPhone has become the most essential device in our lives and we love it," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing. 2017 is expected to be a big year for the iPhone, with rumors suggesting at least one new model will feature glass casing with a curved OLED display. The device may sport a nearly bezel-less edge-to-edge design with no physical Home button, but rather Touch ID embedded directly into the display as both patented by Apple and technologically possible. Other rumored features include wireless charging, facial or iris recognition, and a vertical dual-lens camera capable of 3D photography effects. Tag: Steve Jobs Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report underlining his expectations for the future of Apple's iPad line-up, with slightly revised predictions for a new "high-end" middle-size tablet to be released later this year. According to Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce three iPads in 2017: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad, along with a new bezel-free, mid-size model in the range of between 10 and 10.5 inches. We note the 12.9" model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9" iPad Pro, the 10-10.5" model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7" model will be the low-priced option. The former two models will have an A10X chip manufactured by TSMC (2330 TT, NT$183.5, N), while the latter comes with an A9 chip made by Samsung LSI. Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10% from 2016's roughly 20%, given that the 10-10.5" model may see more demand from commercial/enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7" model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60% of total shipments of new iPads. Last August, Kuo's expectation for Apple's mid-size model was a more definite 10.5 inches. His latest revised prediction of 10-10.5 inches suggests Apple is still testing multiple tablets and has yet to settle on a final size. Interestingly, Japanese site Mac Otakara released two separate reports last year stating that the tablet will be 10.1 inches and 10.9 inches, so while the former size falls into the lower end of Kuo's revised range, the exact dimensions remain unclear. Market-wise, Kuo believes "the worst has passed" for Apple's iPad as he predicts a narrower year-on-year shipment decline in 2017. The analyst puts this down to an improved product mix, decreasing exposure to the iPad mini, and an improved cost structure due to an increasing number of suppliers of touch-module lamination and display panels, with Samsung being "the biggest winner" in joining previous monopoly-holder Silicon Works to supply the latter. Mac Otakara and Barclays Research have both predicted an early 2017 launch for the new iPads, perhaps in March or April. However, if a radical bezel-free redesign is planned, it is unlikely that Apple will upstage the 2017 iPhone 8 that's expected in September with an edge-to-edge iPad launching earlier in the year. Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad Pro Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared a new iPhone 7 Plus ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the Portrait Mode feature exclusive to Apple's larger handset. In the ad, entitled "Take Mine", a young lady arrives at a Greek village to visit her grandmother. After greeting each other with open arms, the two women are seen sitting in a café, where the granddaughter uses a Rose Gold iPhone 7 Plus to take a picture of the elderly woman using the Depth Effect. After previewing the shot, her grandma stands up in awe, taken aback by its quality. This catches the attention of others in the café, and a woman asks if she can get a picture, too. The young lady happily obliges. Thus begins a spree of depth-of-field photography as locals in the village queue up to have their pictures taken, including fishermen, a musician, children, a barber, and even a local shepherd, all framed in sharp focus with the familiar blurred background effect. The ad ends with the tagline, "Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus – practically magic". Today's iPhone 7 Plus ad is the latest in a series that have showcased the features of Apple's latest handsets, like waterproofing, improved battery life, the camera, and the iOS 10 operating system. Apple has also previously shared tips to "Shoot like a Pro" with the depth-of-field effect in the iPhone 7 Plus, highlighting a range of suggestions collected from professional photographers on its news site. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Apple ads Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may not take part in the annual Consumer Electronics Show, but the event is still filled with all kinds of Apple-related accessories from third-party vendors. Some aren't so great or are the same old thing, but others are novel, fun, and bring something new to the table. For this video, we spent a couple of days exploring the show floor to find some of the best Apple accessories of CES 2017. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Incipio showed off a new iPhone 7 case that brings back the headphone jack. The case itself is rather thin, but there is a large chin at the bottom to accommodate both the headphone jack and and a Lightning charging port. Griffin displayed its BreakSafe cables for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The cables, including a new 100W model for the 2016 MacBook Pro, are designed to replace Apple's MagSafe connector, offering the same breakaway functionality over USB Type-C. Henge Docks debuted a number of products to complement the new MacBook Pro. The original Vertical Dock allows you to dock your computer off to the side of a monitor, while the new Horizontal Dock allows you to securely dock the MacBook Pro without compromising usability. The Horizontal Dock features pressure sensors to know when the computer is present, and it then automatically connects itself with the computer. This dock has 13 ports available including HDMI, USB Type-A, and Ethernet. Henge Docks also announced the Tethered Dock, which gives you a station to connect multiple cables and charge your MacBook. CMRA showed off a prototype Apple Watch band that features a front and rear-facing camera, but it didn't have a functional model on hand. We only saw a dummy unit, so we'll have to wait to see the band in action. The CMRA is already available for pre-order, but won't ship out until later this year. Finally, NanoLeaf displayed its colorful array of Aurora lights. These HomeKit-enabled lights can be displayed on a wall and each individual light can be controlled through the Aurora app. NanoLeaf also demoed the new Aurora Rhythm sound sensor that allows the lights to react to music and sound. If you missed them, make sure to check out the videos we did at CES Unveiled and Pepcom, two events that had tons of cool Apple products. You'll also want to check out our full CES coverage, which has dozens more accessories worth looking at.Tag: CES 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Focalcrest, a Chinese company focusing on intelligent hardware solutions, today debuted a new HomeKit hub that promises to bring HomeKit connectivity to various connected home products that would not otherwise be able to interface with Apple's smart home platform. The Mixtile Hub, which is MFi certified by Apple, is designed to connect to ZigBee and Z-Wave products and interface with HomeKit, allowing them to be controlled in via Siri and with Apple's Home app. The hub plugs into a television set, which is used as a display to allow users to discover smart devices located in the home. From the television, the devices can be connected to the hub, and an accompanying smart phone app allows users to designate what a product does so that it can be used appropriately through HomeKit. According to Focalcrest, it can interface with Z-Wave and ZigBee products, as well as connect to various smart home devices through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Focalcrest did not provide specific examples of the kinds of hardware the hub can work with, so there are some unknowns with the product at this point in time.The Mixtile Hub supports wireless communication protocols such as ZigBee, Z-Wave (optional), Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It can also communicate with various other sensors (temperature and humidity sensors, optical sensors, door sensors) surveillance devices (monitors, alarms, intelligent locks) and smart home products (intelligent lamps, outlets and air conditioners), through ZigBee and Z-Wave.Several existing hub-based HomeKit products work the same way as the Mixtile Hub, such as the Philips Hue. The Philips Hue base station is HomeKit enabled, while all bulbs connect to and receive commands from the base station using the ZigBee protocol. ZigBee and Z-Wave are popular options for smart home products that don't support HomeKit. Many home security companies use Z-Wave, as do some major brands like Honeywell, GE, Schlage, D-Link, and First Alert. A wide range of connected home products use ZigBee, like the Logitech Harmony Remote, Cree lightbulbs, GE lightbulbs, and more. Hardware wise, the hub is equipped with a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage space. It has a built in 2,500mAh battery, dual microphones, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a micro-USB port, and a USB 2.0 port. Focalcrest says the Mixtile Hub will be priced at approximately $150, and it will tentatively see a release sometime around March of 2017.Tags: HomeKit, CES 2017, Mixture Hub Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will shift to indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) material for MacBook Pro displays as soon as later this year, according to IHS. The research firm told DigiTimes that Apple may continue to procure MacBook Pro displays based on current amorphous silicon (a-Si) material until the end of the first quarter. The report claims Samsung and Sharp will begin supplying IGZO panels to Apple as soon as mid-2017. Sharp began mass production of IGZO displays in 2012, but evidence points towards Apple only using the material in iPads so far. A rumor claiming the first IGZO MacBooks would launch by 2014 proved to be inaccurate. IGZO is a semiconducting material that has forty times more electron mobility than the standard a-Si used as the active layer of an LCD screen, allowing for less power consumption, improved touch sensitivity, and increased pixel density, which could pave the way for higher resolution displays. DisplayMate president Raymond Soneira told us IGZO can also result in "significantly higher brightness," but the material costs "considerably more" to manufacture. Production and yield issues have slowed the adoption of IGZO, but the material is now showing up in more products such as LG's new OLED TVs. "Sometimes IGZO is simply referred to as Metal Oxide," he added. "The higher the PPI and the wider the Color Gamut (like DCI-P3 for the new MacBook Pro) the greater the benefits of IGZO over a-Si, particularly for LCDs." The glass edge and backplane circuitry of IGZO displays can also be made smaller, possibly leading to a thinner MacBook Pro. However, such a design change is less likely this year given Apple just redesigned the notebook in 2016 for the first time in four years. Apple's interest likely lies in the power savings. The original iPad Air's overall size and battery were reduced by around 25% compared to the previous model, and analysis suggested the tablet's new IGZO display made that possible. However, a smaller MacBook Pro battery would likely be perceived negatively following battery life complaints on 2016 models. Given the timeline, Apple's switch to IGZO displays may be planned for the next-generation MacBook Pro. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said new MacBook Pro models will launch in the second half of 2017, possibly with 32GB of RAM and slightly faster Kaby Lake processors unveiled this week. IHS estimates Apple will order 9.7 million MacBook Pro display panels in 2017, an increase from 8.8 million units in 2016.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Tags: IGZO, IHS Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's annual shareholders meeting will be held on February 28 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the Town Hall building at its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to an SEC document filed electronically today. Admission is open to all shareholders of record on a first come, first served basis. A primary item of business on the agenda is to elect the Board of Directors to serve until the next annual meeting of shareholders in 2018, with Apple nominating the same eight individuals currently serving on its board: Tim Cook, Al Gore, Bob Iger, James Bell, Andrea Jung, Art Levinson, Ron Sugar, and Sue Wagner. The filing reveals Apple CEO Tim Cook made $8.7 million in 2016, down from $10.28 million in 2015 and $9.2 million in 2014. Cook's earnings included a base salary of $3 million, non-equity incentives of $5.37 million, and other compensation of nearly $378,000. Other named executives netted nearly $23 million apiece. Apple Executive Compensation in 2016• Apple CEO Tim Cook: $8,747,719 • Apple CFO Luca Maestri: $22,803,569 • Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts: $22,902,892 • Apple services chief Eddy Cue: $22,807,544 • Apple hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio: $22,807,544 • Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell: $22,807,544Apple noted it did not meet its target performance goals for both net sales and operating income in 2016, resulting in the senior executives receiving only 89.5% of their cash incentives. In 2015, the executives received 100% of their cash incentives as Apple met its performance goals for sales in that year.Tags: Tim Cook, SEC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
An early prototype of the original iPhone has been shared online by Sonny Dickson, with a collection of images and a video that provide a glimpse into one version of the iPhone that Apple created and tested before ending up with the first iteration of the device. The prototype includes some similar features to the first generation iPhone, like an aluminium chassis, multi-touch compatible screen, 2G connectivity and Wi-Fi, but its entire user interface is taken directly from the click wheel system of Apple's original iPod line. Called "Acorn OS," the prototype software includes an on-screen click wheel on the bottom half of the screen and a menu system on the top half, and the two are bisected by a bar with rewind, menu, play/pause, and fast-forward buttons. On the menu are options such as “Favorites”, “SMS”, “Music”, “Settings” and “Recents," and it's navigated by circling around the click wheel to go up and down, with a center press confirming an action, just like on the iPod. Instead of the modern touch-driven interface we now call iOS, it featured an operating system dubbed “Acorn OS” (this was an internal code name, and it unclear if it would have kept that name if it had been released), which is derived from the acorn shown on boot. Not much else is known about the device, apart from the fact that it differs heavily from the iPhone we know today, and that very few units running “Acorn OS” exist, with most of them likely being destroyed by Apple, a company in which there is a specific job role in relation to the destruction of prototypes. Dickson references Apple's patent for a "multi-functional hand-held device," filed and published in 2006, as proof that such a prototype did exist at one point and could potentially have been an alternate version of the iPhone. In one of the patent's drawings, a click wheel can be seen as a possible input method for the proposed device. The patent's abstract describes a product with "at most only a few physical buttons, keys, or switches so that its display size can be substantially increased." It's well known that to get to the current version of iOS we have today, Steve Jobs originally placed "iPod Father" Tony Fadell and Macintosh executive Scott Forstall in a head-to-head competition to come up with the best mobile operating system possible. The two teams represented a clashing idea that Jobs had for the iPhone: enlarge the iPod's OS or come up with a compact version of the Mac's OS. Forstall's team won, and it appears that today's shared prototype is a bygone leftover of the losing side's work. Check out more images of the iPod-inspired iPhone on Sonny Dickson's website.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
In June 2015 it was reported that Apple would renovate its iconic Fifth Avenue retail store, temporarily relocating its operations to the vacated FAO Schwarz toy store in the General Motors Building. A MacRumors reader spotted a new sign in front of the iconic store that reveals the relocation will happen on January 20. FAO Schwarz vacated its location in the General Motors Building in July 2015 due to the rising cost of rent. The space is just a couple feet away from the iconic glass cube, making the relocation largely seamless for frequent customers of the Fifth Avenue store. Apple's Fifth Avenue store and the former FAO Schwarz space, far right (Flickr) While the extent of the renovations at the Fifth Avenue store are unknown, the company has been expanding or relocating a number of its older stores to accommodate increased foot traffic. The Fifth Avenue location was last renovated in 2011, when larger, more seamless panes of glass were installed. The renovation was completed in November 2011.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Tags: FAO Schwarz, Fifth Avenue, New York City Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
One of the best ways to see the highlights of what CES has to offer is at the shows -- CES Unveiled, Pepcom, and ShowStoppers. MacRumors videographer Matt hit up Pepcom last night, where he searched for the coolest, most interesting products available on the show floor. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Amid the highlights at Pepcom were the motion-activated Ring Floodlight Cam, iDevices HomeKit-enabled switches and outlets, the HomeKit-enabled Eve Series, Incase luggage equipped with batteries and Bluetooth, and a snazzy keychain-sized Apple watch charger from Kanex. Navdy's iPhone-connected heads-up display unit for use in cars was one of the neatest products at Pepcom, and Corning was there showing off Gorilla Glass 5, which is more resistant to impacts and could be used in future iPhones. If you missed our CES Unveiled video, make sure to check it out here, and for our full CES coverage, click here. Stay tuned to MacRumors and follow us on YouTube because we're going to have more CES content to share this week.Tag: CES 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
While wireless CarPlay implementations have been supported since iOS 9, the functionality has so far been limited to a single BMW model. That will change next month, however, as Alpine has introduced a new aftermarket system with wireless CarPlay that will be available in February for a suggested price of $900. The wireless support enables drivers to connect an iPhone to CarPlay via Wi-Fi to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more. Previous standard and aftermarket CarPlay configurations have required connecting an iPhone with a Lightning cable. Alpine's new iLX-107 in-dash receiver, which debuted at CES 2017 this week, features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, LED backlighting, and standard AM/FM radio functionality. Alpine offers five other aftermarket CarPlay systems with screen sizes ranging from 7-9 inches, priced from $900 to $4,000. While the iLX-107 has a $900 list price, resellers may offer it at cheaper price points as seen with previous Alpine models. Prospective buyers looking for cheaper options should consider aftermarket systems without wireless CarPlay from Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC, JBL, Sony, and other manufacturers.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tags: CES 2017, Alpine Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile CEO John Legere today hosted a T-Mobile "Un-carrier Next" event at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he announced that T-Mobile is only going to sell its unlimited T-Mobile One plan going forward. Existing customers will be able to keep their current plans, but new customers will only be able to purchase the $70 T-Mobile One plan, which gives unlimited data access. T-Mobile will do away with taxes, surcharges, access fees, and other additional charges, including them all in the T-Mobile One Plan fee, which isn't changing. For a family of four, T-Mobile One will cost $40 per month per person ($70 for the first line, $50 for the second line, and $20 for each additional line). What T-Mobile advertises is what you'll pay. There's some fine print involved. Autopay is required, and the top 3 percent of data users (upwards of 28GB) may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle. Video streams at 480p, and tethering is limited to Max 3G speeds. Higher quality video streaming will require T-Mobile One Plus, which costs an additional $15. T-Mobile is also introducing a "KickBack" program, which will give customers a $10 bill credit for each phone line that uses 2GB of data or less starting on January 22. According to Legere, "new rules are needed for the mobile internet," which is what has inspired T-Mobile to change its policies. Legere shared the rules T-Mobile will stick to in 2017: 1. Mobile internet shouldn't be sold by bits and bytes. 2. What you see should be what you pay. 3. Only you have the power to change what you pay. 4. You shouldn't have to pay for what you don't use. All of today's announcements are accompanied by a "Tax Rebate" promotion. Every customer who switches to T-Mobile from another carrier will receive a $150 gift card, with no trade-in required. The gift card applies to every line that's transferred to T-Mobile. T-Mobile also plans to continue building out its LTE network over the course of 2017, and expects to have LTE available to 320 million at the end of the year, putting it on par with Verizon. Over the last two years, T-Mobile has aimed to disrupt traditional mobile service with its Un-carrier initiatives. T-Mobile began with uncoupling device costs from service costs in 2013, and then went on to offer several additional incentives to encourage customers to switch to the carrier, including paying early termination fees, offering a JUMP! upgrade plan, unlimited texting and 2G data in 100 countries, free streaming music from Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, and Pandora, one week free trials to test the T-Mobile service, Wi-Fi calling, data rollovers, low-cost plans for businesses, free "Binge-On" video and music streaming, freebies on "T-Mobile Tuesdays," and a $70 unlimited plan.Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Nearly four months after iOS 10 was released to the public, the operating system is installed on 76 percent of active iOS devices, according to new numbers posted on Apple's App Store support page for developers. iOS installation rates have grown significantly over the holiday period, jumping up 13 percentage points between the end of November and the beginning of January. On November 27, 2016, iOS 10 was installed on 63 percent of devices. 18 percent of devices continue to run iOS 9, and six percent of devices are running iOS 8 or earlier. iOS 10 adoption rates may have seen a jump thanks to the release of iOS 10.2 on December 12. iOS 10.2 introduced several new features, including a new "TV" app, new emoji, improvements to Live Photos, and a huge list of bug fixes. Around this time last year, iOS 9 was installed on 75 percent of active devices, so iOS 10 adoption rates have eclipsed iOS 9 adoption rates during the same time frame in 2016. Apple has been steadily releasing updates to iOS 10, and rumors suggest we will see the first beta of the next major update, iOS 10.3, on January 10. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
With the release of the 2016 MacBook Pro, there were a slew complaints over the compromising thinness and the removal of ports. For professionals who rely on the MacBook Pro, this latest iteration fell short of expectations. The outcry was so loud, in fact, that Apple slashed prices on its USB-C adapters, a move rarely seen from the company. This is the DEC from Other World Computing. It's a new dock for the 2016 MacBook Pro that's designed to return some of the missing features Apple removed. It's unique in the way that it connects to the computer and the functionality it brings. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The DEC attaches to the bottom of the MacBook Pro by replacing the screws that hold on the bottom plate. This method won't void your warranty, but it will allow for the dock to be securely attached at all times. At first glance the DEC looks comically large, but in person the size and weight are more than manageable. OWC claims that when attached to a 2016 MacBook Pro, the DEC will be as thin as the 2012 MacBook Pro. Weight didn't seem to be an issue, but this is an unfinished prototype that doesn't have all the hardware in place. When considering the functionality of the dock, the size and weight compromises may be worth it. The DEC connects to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt 3 and will bring USB Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card Slot, and up to 4TB of storage. Additional features are also being considered, such as an expanded battery pack. The models shown here are still in prototype phase, but OWC assured us the final models will be available within months. The DEC will come in both Silver and Space Gray, and at release it will be available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Pricing is not yet available, but OWC expects it to be priced lower than the BTO 2TB storage upgrade available from Apple. Tags: OWC, CES 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Hulu and CBS have reached an agreement that will bring CBS-owned channels to Hulu's upcoming live-streaming service, as well as grant subscribers on-demand access to recent episodes of popular CBS shows like Mom and The Big Bang Theory (via The Wall Street Journal). Full access to current and past seasons of these shows will remain on CBS All Access. The current deal includes user access to CBS Sports Network and Pop, a pop culture focused network, with the potential for more CBS networks -- like CBS’s Smithsonian Channel and The CW -- to be added down the line. Although unspecified, it's also predicted that Hulu will continue to offer the CBS-owned premium network Showtime as an add-on within its new live-streaming package. Current Hulu subscribers can purchase Showtime for $8.99 on top of their monthly Hulu cost. According to people close to the deal, CBS will receive "more than $3 per monthly subscriber" at the service's launch, with the multiyear contract signaling the potential for the network's take to rise above $4. The streaming service aims to offer a more personalized, intuitive version of cable TV than that offered by traditional pay-TV distributors and even newer streaming entrants. At launch, Hulu’s offering will also include a cloud-based digital video recorder and many local station affiliates. CBS’s pact with Hulu shows that at least for now the network is finding a way to have its cake and eat it, too—striking deals with distributors while maintaining a stand-alone streaming service with some 1.2 million subscribers. Moreover, the deal with Hulu involves CBS’s direct rivals; the streaming service is owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner. During the announcement at an investor conference this week, Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins also mentioned that the service is set to cost users "under $40" per month. The service will include Hulu's existing video content library as well, which now includes a wide selection of movies from Disney. Word of Hulu's upcoming live-streaming service began spreading last May, when it was said that the company's new subscription plan would directly introduce it as "a competitor to traditional pay-TV providers," in addition to on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hulu's unnamed cable-like service will now be backed with channels from CBS, Walt Disney, Time Warner, Fox, and NBC. Hulu will be entering a steadily growing and competitive market with its live-streaming service. Both Sling TV and DirecTV NOW are available to users on the iOS and Apple TV App Stores for streaming and viewing live television networks without the need for a traditional cable subscription. In the past, Apple tried to launch its own $30-$40 TV service but became "frustrated" and ultimately shelved the plans after failing to find mutually advantageous ways to work with network programmers.Tags: CBS, Hulu Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that January 1, 2017 was the iOS App Store's "busiest day ever" with $240 million total in customer purchases made on the storefront on New Year's Day. Looking back at the past year, App Store developers made $20 billion in 2016, which the company said was up 40 percent from 2015. In the announcement, Apple gave a few statistics on categories like the top grossing apps of the year, which included Monster Strike, Fantasy Westward, Clash Royale, and Pokémon Go. Following a launch in December, Super Mario Run was the number one downloaded app on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Throughout December, customers spent $3 billion in total on the App Store, which Apple said was another record-breaking month for the company. “2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives.” In total, the App Store now offers 2.2 million apps, having increased by 20 percent from 2015. Independently developed apps, like Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro, were listed as some of the "most successful apps" of 2016. Globally, Apple said that the App Store helped raise over $17 million in both the fight against AIDS thanks to its annual PRODUCT(RED) campaign, as well as for the World Wildlife Fund thanks to the Apps for Earth program. The Chinese App Store has grown 90 percent in 2016, and in total the top-grossing markets for the App Store are ranked as: the U.S., China, Japan and the U.K. In terms of apps with subscription fees, Netflix, HBO Now, Line, Tinder and MLB.com At Bat were listed as the most popular. Revenue from subscription fees grew 74 percent in 2016 to $2.7 billion, following major changes Apple made to App Store fees for these specific subscription video apps. The all-new iMessage App Store also got a mention today, with Apple announcing that 21,000 iMessages apps are now available for users to install. Data gathered by Sensor Tower back in September accounted for just under 2,000 iMessage apps in the App Store, with sticker-related apps remaining the most popular throughout the year.Tag: App Store Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Audi and Nvidia have announced they are working together to bring a fully self-driving car to the consumer market by the year 2020. The announcement came on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the two companies outlined their vision for a fully autonomous vehicle. German automaker Audi hopes to be one of the first automakers to achieve the feat, and is banking on U.S. graphics chipmaker Nvidia's artificial intelligence car computing platform, which uses deep learning to negotiate complex real-road conditions. Audi's Q7 Piloted Driving Concept."Nvidia is pioneering the use of deep learning AI to revolutionize transportation," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said. "Audi's adoption of our Drive computing platform will accelerate the introduction of next-generation automated vehicles, moving us closer to a future of greater driving safety and new mobility services." To offer a taste of the results of their collaboration, Audi has been demoing its Q7 Piloted Driving Concept, which is fitted with Nvidia's Drive PX 2 processor. The companies claim that after four days of "training", equipped vehicles are able to drive themselves over a complex road course, thanks to the PX 2 chip's ability to learn on the fly without recourse to pre-mapped routes. Audi and Nvidia have been working together for almost a decade, but the announcement at this year's CES is an indication of just how far the collaboration has come. Originally the partnership was limited to using Nvidia's graphics processors in Audi's virtual cockpit and navigation systems, but ambitions have since grown, and Audi said it will begin expanding its testing of the highly automated, artificial intelligence-equipped vehicles on public roads in California and select states in 2018. For Nvidia's part, the traditionally GPU-focused company has been working on autonomous vehicle systems for several years now and has rolled out development platforms and agreed partnerships with over 80 automakers and suppliers to realize its self-driving goals. In September the company introduced Xavier, a complete AI system on a chip for self-driving cars that's designed to meet international functional safety standards for in-car electronics. Apple is thought to have refocused its car project recently. The company has shelved plans to build an electric car for now, and is instead working to build a self-driving software platform for use in vehicles made by established automakers. In December of last year, Apple confirmed its interest in the autonomous car market, in a letter to federal regulators urging them to ensure fair competition and equal rights for "new entrants" in the industry.Related Roundup: Apple Car Tags: Nvidia, Audi Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, LG today unveiled the Hub Robot, an adorable Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor. The Hub Robot, which LG has created with a "friendly, anthropomorphic design," interfaces with smart home products and interacts with people in multiple ways. Powered by Amazon's Alexa voice recognition technology, the Hub Robot can respond to commands to do things like turn on the air conditioner or the lights. It features an interactive display that can offer up information and images, and with a built-in speaker, it can play music, set alarms, provide weather updates, and more. The Hub Robot is more interactive than competing products from Amazon and Google, with the ability to move, swivel in place, and express a range of emotions by displaying a face on its built-in screen. It is able to respond to customers using body language, such as nodding its head when it is asked a question, and it keeps track of in-home activity, monitoring when family members come and go. With facial recognition capabilities, it recognizes each member of a family and provides customized greetings and information. LG says the Hub Robot is designed to be put in a place where the family gathers, such as a kitchen or a living room, and additional mini robots will be introduced alongside the Hub Robot that can go in other rooms of the house. LG has not announced a ship date for the Hub Robot, nor is pricing available, but it will likely be competitive with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, which are priced at $180 and $129, respectively. As in-home hub solutions grow in popularity, rumors suggest Apple is working on its own connected smart home device that's similar to the Amazon Echo. It's said to be powered by Siri and equipped with a speaker and a microphone. The hub will work with HomeKit, and there's a possibility it could be combined with another product, such as the AirPort or Apple TV. The hub has supposedly been in development for two years and is in the prototype testing phase, but it's not clear if and when it will see an official release.Tags: LG, CES 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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