posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Two major Canadian banks have signed up to Apple Pay, marking a significant expansion of the mobile payments service in the country (via The Financial Post). As of today, debit and major credit cards issued by RBC and CIBC will support Apple Pay, with TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, and BMO expected to follow in the coming months to complete the rollout across Canada's "Big Five". ATB Financial and Canadian Tire Financial Services are two other financial institutions also to sign up to the payment service. Owners of iPhone and iPad models with the Touch ID feature and Apple Watch users will now be able to add cards from issuers into their Apple Pay Wallet and use their devices to make payments in-store. Apple Pay's in-app transaction functionality will be supported by the new issuers next month. Previously, Apple Pay was limited to American Express cardholders in Canada, allowing newer iPhone and Apple Watch owners to make contactless payments at retail stores like Indigo, McDonald's, Sport Chek, Tim Hortons, and others with NFC payment terminals that accept the card. Apple Pay first launched in the U.S. in October 2014, while Canada saw its limited American Express launch in November 2015.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer have offered their first public demonstration of Viv, the much-anticipated voice assistant that promises an advanced level of human-computer interaction. The demo took place yesterday at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY event, where Viv's creators wasted no time showing what the new AI bot is capable of. Kittlaus began by asking Viv what the weather was like today, but then continued the conversation with increasingly complicated queries, like "Was it raining in Seattle three Thursdays ago?" and even "Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?" Viv had no problems answering the stacked requests, showing a clear awareness of context. Viv CEO Dag Kittlaus demos the new AI bot at TechCrunch Disrupt NY (Image: TechCrunch) Viv's enhanced contextual awareness is thanks to what Kittlaus called "dynamic program generation", a "new science breakthrough" that enables Viv to understand the intent of the user and code its own responses on the fly. The feature is central to Kittlaus and Cheyer's hopes for a thriving third-party ecosystem for Viv, since developers are fully able to integrate it into their apps' functionality. The idea is that developers will take advantage of the open-ended nature of the platform to create new and increasingly complex experiences in a short period of time, instead of having to hard-code every response specific to their apps' interactive features. Kittlaus and Cheyer say Viv is closer to the original vision they had for Siri, the virtual assistant they created in 2007 which is now built into all of Apple's iOS devices. Google and Facebook have already made offers to purchase the AI bot, but it is not clear if Kittlaus and Cheyer have plans to sell the technology, while early integrations are expected to come "later this year".Tag: Viv Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun notifying recipients of scholarships to the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, according to several developers on social media and MacRumors readers. Apple is awarding 350 scholarships to students and members of participating STEM organizations and is also offering 125 scholarships to developers with financial limitations. Winners of the scholarship receive a free ticket to WWDC 2016 and, in addition, may receive travel assistance to the event. To be eligible, developers had to be 13 years or older, a full or part-time student or a member / alumni of a STEM organization. Developers had to submit an app they worked on that demonstrated "creative use of Apple technologies and runs on an Apple platform." WWDC 2016 will take place from June 13 to June 17 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California. However, the kickoff keynote event will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a venue that is able to accommodate more guests. Apple is expected to announce new versions of iOS, tvOS, watchOS and OS X, which may get renamed macOS. Excited to announce I’ve won a scholarship to Apple’s #WWDC 2016! pic.twitter.com/jdksiejzOo— Harrison Weinerman (@hrrsn) May 9, 2016 For the rest of the week, developers and scholarship winners will be able to meet with more than 1,500 Apple engineers and attend more than 100 technical sessions and hands-on labs. Developers who do not have a ticket to WWDC will be able to watch live streamed WWDC sessions that will cover a range of topics and devices. (Thanks, James and Reddit user AppleBetas!)Related Roundup: WWDC 2016 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Despite the launch of Apple Music, which recently reached 13 million paid subscribers, rival service Spotify told Reuters that it has experienced a faster pace of growth since last June than beforehand."It's great that Apple is in the game. They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own," Jonathan Forster, a vice president and one of its first employees, told Reuters in an interview. "Since Apple Music started we've been growing quicker and adding more users than before."Spotify recently announced that it has 30 million paying customers, compared to around 20 million paid subscribers last June, while its total active user base has grown to nearly 100 million from 75 million a year ago. Apple has not recently disclosed how many users it has on a three-month trial for an overall comparison, but Spotify remains over 2x to 2.5x larger than Apple Music in terms of paid subscribers worldwide."It would be terrible if we were just taking each other's users or to learn there was just a ceiling of 100 million users - I don't think that is the case," said Forster, who had just returned to Stockholm from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.Apple Music has inevitably generated increased awareness of the concept of streaming music, which in turn has helped Spotify triple its paid subscriber base in just two years. The service, which launched in Europe in October 2008 and expanded to the U.S. in July 2011, had 10 million subscribers through May 2014. Spotify continues to operate at a loss due to expensive royalties and revenue sharing with music label partners, but the Swedish company expects to eventually become profitable through continued subscriber growth. Spotify will also seek to earn increased revenue from advertising, concerts, merchandising, and video. Spotify today announced that 12 new original series will be coming to the streaming music service this summer and fall, centered around music performances, music profiles, and music culture. Last year, the company also added video programming and podcasts from partners such as Comedy Central, ESPN, and MTV. In related news, Spotify for iOS was recently updated with a new bottom navigation bar in lieu of its traditional slide-out "hamburger" menu.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has shared a new television commercial called "Thank You Speech" starring actor Neil Patrick Harris. The new 30-second spot promotes hands-free Siri on iPhone 6s in a humorous tone. Harris asks Siri to read him his "thank you speech" while he stands in front of a mirror practicing with a hairbrush. The How I Met Your Mother star previously had a quick cameo in Apple's recent "Onions" ad. Apple previously promoted hands-free Siri with its acclaimed "Timer" ad starring Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, with was accompanied by a humorous behind the scenes video. It also shared an ad called "Hey Siri" in December that specifically shows off the hands-free feature.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tag: Apple ads Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
According to some rumors, Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will not include a headphone jack, requiring headphones to connect to the devices using a Lightning connector. In light of these rumors, we've taken a look at several different pairs of Lightning-connected headphones to explore the benefits and drawbacks of an iPhone with no headphone jack. In the video below, we compare headphones at three price points: the $45 Brightech earphones, the $300 Philips Fidelio M2L headphones, and the $800 Audeze El-8 headphones to offer some insight into how they sound compared to headphones connecting with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple has perhaps been preparing for the removal of the headphone jack since 2014, when it introduced a Made for iPhone specification to allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones with Lightning connectors instead of 3.5mm headphone jacks. While Lightning-connected headphones can only be used with iOS devices and prevent the devices from being charged while in use, two obvious negatives, there are also some significant benefits. Our iPhones today include a 3.5mm headphone jack with a built-in digital to analog converter, or DAC, for playing music, which is then amplified through a built-in amp. Size and cost constraints associated with the 3.5mm headphone jack limit the quality of the DAC and amp, but in Lightning-connected headphones, the DAC and the amp are built into the headphones themselves instead of the iPhone, allowing manufacturers to control sound quality. In our tests, all of the Lightning-connected headphones, from the $45 pair to the $800 pair, sounded better than comparable headphones connected to an iPhone using the 3.5mm jack, so while many of us may be disappointed with the inconvenience of no headphone jack, at least there's the silver lining of better quality audio when using Lightning-connected headphones. Note: Philips provided MacRumors with the Philips Fidelio M2L headphones free of charge for the purposes of this hands-on test. Audeze provided MacRumors with a loaner set of the El-8 headphones which were returned at the conclusion of testing and the Britech headphones were purchased by MacRumors. No other compensation was received.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
A purported sketch of the iPhone 7 obtained by French website NWE points towards the next-generation smartphone having identical length and width as the iPhone 6s. The unverified drawing shows the iPhone 7 has the same 138.3mm (5.44 inches) length and 6.71mm (2.64 inches) width as the iPhone 6s, but the depth of the new smartphone is not listed for comparison. The sketch also depicts a larger and slightly convex camera housing, suggesting that the iPhone 7 could possibly have a larger sensor and a nearly flush camera cutout. Conflicting rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 series may or may not include a 3.5mm headphone jack, Smart Connector, and dual-lens camera system, while it is possible some of those features may be exclusive to the larger iPhone 7 Plus. The sketch is consistent with a previous iPhone 7 Plus design drawing that showed the larger 5.5-inch smartphone will likewise have identical dimensions as the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the smartphones will not have "many attractive selling points," and it appears increasingly likely that Apple will break away from its typical tick-tock "S" design cycle and maintain the same 6-series form factor for a third consecutive year. Other rumored features for the iPhone 7 series include a touch-sensitive home button, waterproofing and dustproofing, repositioned antenna bands, stereo speakers, wireless charging, and a slightly larger battery. Apple may reserve some features for the following iPhone in 2017, which rumors suggest could be far more compelling with an all-new OLED display, glass casing, and several other changes.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: nowhereelse.fr Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has held a special meeting with leading podcasters in an attempt to address concerns that the company is failing to adequately support the iTunes broadcast community, reports to The New York Times. According to the piece, the meeting took place last month at the company's Cupertino headquarters, where seven top iTunes podcasters were invited to air their grievances regarding Apple's handing of the popular audio format in recent years. The podcasters expressed in "frank terms" their biggest issues to a room full of Apple employees, according to two attendees, who spoke on condition of anonymity after signing nondisclosure agreements. Top of the complaints list was a frustration among podcasters at their lack of ability to make money through subscription downloads, mainly due to insufficient access to data about their listeners – data that they argued Apple is in a unique position to provide. The program producers also took issue with iTunes' limited sharing features, which take multiple clicks to advertise content on social media. In addition, podcasters said they had been "relegated to wooing a single Apple employee" when it came to discussing issues, such as perceived inconsistencies in the way iTunes elects to promote content. After the meeting was over, SVP Eddy Cue met with Apple employees separately in a closed-door session to discuss the issues that had been raised by the podcasters, but the company did not make any promises to address their concerns, according to the sources. Apple essentially gave birth to the mainstream podcasting community in 2005 when it released iTunes 4.9 with native support for podcasts. Within a year, public radio networks like the BBC, CBC Radio One, and National Public Radio had placed many of their radio shows on the platform. The format's popularity has surged in recent years, with many amateur podcasters going professional and major media organizations posting new shows every week. In 2014, breakout hit "Serial" garnered 110 million downloads as listeners avidly followed the radio spin-off's re-examination of a murder case. In 2015, at least 46 million Americans listened to podcasts each month. That figure is expected to reach 57 million by this year's end, according to a survey by Edison Research. The report notes that podcasts bring Apple no direct revenue and its iTunes podcasting hub has changed very little since it was introduced, while promotion is decided by a small team that fields pitches and conducts its own outreach. In a statement to The New York Times, Apple SVP Cue said, "We have more people than ever focused on podcasting, including engineers, editors and programmers." Cue added, "Podcasts hold a special place with us at Apple." With Google and Spotify now actively promoting their own podcast promotion and distribution services, time will tell whether broadcasters agree.Tag: Podcasts Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Back in February, iTunes chief Eddy Cue promised a new version of iTunes would be coming out with OS X 10.11.4, featuring a simpler design that makes Apple Music easier to use. That update wasn’t included in OS X 10.11.4 and has been delayed, but a source has shared some screenshots of the upcoming iTunes 12.4 update with MacRumors, giving us a look at the changes Apple plans to introduce in the near future. A redesigned dropdown media picker will be used to switch between Music, TV Shows, Movies, and other content, replacing the existing navigation icons. Like the current menu, the new menu is customizable, so sections of iTunes that are not used can be hidden from view. Forward and back buttons can be used to navigate between different sections. A persistent sidebar located on the left side of the app is being added, which will make it easier to access different portions of an iTunes Library like specific songs or albums. The sidebar, like the menu bar, can be edited to show desired content, and songs can be dragged and dropped to playlists. Menus in iTunes 12.4 are being simplified to make them easier to use, and the available content in Library can be customized using the redesigned View menu. Menus will be "easier to use" updated with new navigation options. The mini player will also get some slight design changes, with the Up Next song feature being relocated to the right side of the player where it is more clearly visible. It is not clear when Apple will debut iTunes 12.4, but our source says it should be released within in the next few weeks, putting a launch date in late May or early June. Rumors have suggested Apple is also planning to introduce significant changes to Apple Music in the iOS Music app in iOS 10, and additional tweaks could be made to iTunes in OS X 10.12 to mirror changes being introduced in iOS 10.Related Roundup: OS X 10.12 Tags: iTunes, iTunes 12.4 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
A unified, Apple-designed HomeKit app has been desired by HomeKit users since HomeKit first debuted, and it appears Apple is planning to introduce such an app in the near future, perhaps in iOS 10. The hint on Apple's HomeKit plans comes from an Amazon reviewer who works in the marketing department at Apple. The name of the reviewer coincides with the LinkedIn profile of a marketing employee at Apple, and we have confirmed that the Amazon review was indeed created by the Apple employee. As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration. [...] Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. "Yonomi" is a free app that I often use, "Home" is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon "Echo"). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone "HomeKit" app as well.While we verified the source of the information, there's always a chance that Apple's plans could change ahead of the release of iOS 10. There have been several past rumors suggesting Apple would debut a public HomeKit app, but such an app has not materialized even though Apple has long used a HomeKit app internally. Apple has previously trademarked a HomeKit app icon (pictured above) that could potentially be used for a standalone HomeKit app and rumors have suggested it could be called "Home." A cohesive, Apple-branded HomeKit app would go a long way towards improving the HomeKit experience. At the current time, HomeKit users with multiple products must use several different product apps, many of which offer different features, or rely on third-party apps.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: HomeKit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
A Smart Connector has been one of the features rumored for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but a new report from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggests Apple has decided not to include a Smart Connector on the upcoming devices. The Smart Connector, first introduced with the iPad Pro, is a new type of port designed to transfer both data and power between the iPad Pro and accessories like the Smart Keyboard. It's never been clear what purpose a Smart Connector would serve on an iPhone, but speculation ranged from battery cases to wireless charging. Hints that a Smart Connector would be included on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus first surfaced in an image said to be of the iPhone 7 Plus shared by a Chinese website in March. It is still not clear whether that image depicts an actual iPhone 7 device, a mockup based on design schematics, or a counterfeit device. A Smart Connector was also depicted in design drawings created by Mac Fan, but those drawings are often largely based on circulating rumors. Mac Otakara suggests Apple decided to shelve the Smart Connector after considering it as an included feature, but given the questionable nature of the original rumor, it's possible a Smart Connector was never planned for the device. Rumors about the iPhone 7 are still uncertain with a lot of conflicting information surfacing, so the final design and features of the device continue to be up in the air. Rumors have disagreed on features like waterproofing, the removal of the headphone jack, the thickness of the iPhone 7, stereo speakers, whether the camera will protrude, and more, but it's likely a clearer picture of the iPhone 7 will emerge in the months leading up to its prospective fall release.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: macotakara.jp, Smart Connector Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Following the launch of its "Shot on iPhone" Mother's Day ad, Apple has created a dedicated website that allows customers to create their own Mother's Day video by uploading images of their mom. The simple site, first shared by iPhone in Canada, opens with an upload image link, which allows users to upload a photo. The photo is then inserted into a customized version of Apple's Mother's Day video and can be uploaded directly to Facebook. Content wise, the video is identical to Apple's Mother's Day Shot on iPhone ad, featuring photos of mothers from iPhone users around the world, with the addition of the user-uploaded photo. The site, which is a new marketing tactic for Apple, may have been created by Apple advertising partner Media Arts Lab, as an employee was the first person to tweet out a link to the new site. Apple's video creation tool comes just ahead of Mother's Day, which occurs on Sunday, May 8.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Music is the center of a heated debate this week, with involved parties arguing over whether or not the service is deleting Apple Music users' song collections from hard drives after uploading them to iCloud Music Library. Vellum's James Pinkstone wrote a long complaint on May 4 accusing Apple Music of doing just that. According to Pinkstone, Apple Music deleted 122GB of his original music files after he joined Apple Music and had his music library scanned by Apple to make his personal content available across multiple devices. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize--which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself--it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.The process Pinkstone describes above is not how Apple Music's matching feature works, according to an in-depth explanation shared by iMore. Apple will match songs and upload original songs by converting them into an appropriate format, but it does not delete without user intervention. iMore theorizes that Pinkstone accidentally wiped his own library by misunderstanding confusing dialog options. Whatever the case, Apple Music was never designed to delete Pinkstone's source library, and it won't delete yours. That's simply not how the service works on your primary Mac. But if you're not aware of how iCloud Music Library stores copies of tracks, you may delete your local copies to save space, thinking you can get them back -- and get screwed as a result.Confusing the issue further is Pinkstone's conversation with an Apple Support Representative named Amber, who seems to be just as perplexed about how Apple Music functions when merging an existing music library with the Apple Music service."The software is functioning as intended," said Amber. "Wait," I asked, "so it's supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?" "Yes," she replied.Amber's statement is inaccurate according to an Apple Music support document. Original files are never altered and remain available and deleting personal content is not the intended behavior of the service, but it continues to be unclear if Pinkstone and other Apple Music customers who have had content deleted have experienced a bug or mistakenly deleted their content themselves because of a confusing user interface. Multiple Apple Music listeners have disagreed with iMore's point of view and have said they too have experienced music deletions that weren't self-initiated. Regardless of what actually happened, it's clear that Apple Music is in need of a serious overhaul. Rumors suggest Apple is working on revamping Apple Music and will unveil changes at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Hopefully that revamp will extend beyond cosmetic changes to clear up many of the confusing aspects of how music libraries are handled. Apple Music users with personal music collections should create a backup on an external hard drive, which will ensure no music ever goes missing through user error or an Apple Music bug.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week rumors suggested that an Apple Music overhaul is being prepared for a worldwide reveal at WWDC this June, with a launch in the fall within iOS 10. New details shared today by 9to5Mac indicate that one of the streaming music service's least-used features -- the social network-like section called Connect -- will be "demoted" in the overhaul and removed from the app's tab bar completely. Although some users have gone through the process of removing Connect already, allowing them a dedicated Playlist tab in its place, iOS 10 will see Apple moving Connect permanently from the bottom tab and into an integrated section of the "For You" page of Apple Music. Because of this, Connect "is unlikely to see notable new features this year," suggesting this section of Apple Music hasn't lived up to the company's plans laid out at WWDC last year. Overall, the new version of Apple Music is said to focus on black and white backgrounds along with an emphasis on individual album artwork in tracklists. Other basic updates include the introduction of Apple's San Francisco font, a new "Browse" tab, lyrics support, and new 3D Touch shortcut previews. Apple Music's streaming radio network, Beats 1, is believed to remain largely the same as it is currently presented in the app. Read More: Eight Months Later, Apple Music Connect Still 'Fails Miserably' at SocialTags: Apple Music, Apple Music Connect Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will today introduce an Apple Music student plan that discounts the streaming service by 50 percent for those who are enrolled in an eligible college or university (via TechCrunch). The new plan means any academic student in the United States can now pick up an individual Apple Music membership for $4.99 a month, rather than pay the standard $9.99 subscription rate. U.S. students won't be the only ones to benefit though, as the plan is also open to students in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The actual cost is expected to vary slightly from country to country, but all markets will see 50 percent off the standard subscription rate. The student discount is offered for up to four continuous or non-continuous years after sign-up, so students are able to take gap years or breaks between semesters and still sign up again when they return to study. Additionally, the plan is open to all students of all ages, regardless of degree. The membership tier will be available starting today to both new and existing subscribers. Students can sign up or change their membership online, or go through the Apple Music mobile app. Apple is using student verification technology provider, UNiDAY, to ensure that those who are signing up as students are actually enrolled at a supported institution. News of the student plan comes two days after it was reported that Apple is planning to overhaul its year-old music streaming service to make it more intuitive. The company is set to redesign the user interface, which will be "bolder, yet simpler", with an emphasis on black and white backgrounds and text as well as more of a focus on album art. Additionally, the "New" tab in Apple Music is being replaced with a "Browse" option with better organizational tools for finding new content, and Apple will encourage users to use a simplified "For You" section. The new Apple Music app will reportedly debut at WWDC in iOS 10 and will be introduced through an iTunes update on the Mac.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is looking to purchase "large expanses of real estate" in the San Francisco Bay Area for its much-rumored car project, codenamed Project Titan, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google parent company Alphabet and several car manufacturers, such as Tesla and Mercedes Benz, are also on the hunt for more space, according to Hudson Pacific, one of the Bay Area's largest landlords. Map of Apple's newly-purchased real estate in San Jose“We’re seeing the Toyotas of the world, the Teslas of the world, BMWs, Mercedes. Ford now is out in the marketplace looking for space,” [Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman] said on the landlord’s quarterly investor call. “I haven’t even mentioned the 400,000 square feet that Google’s looking to take down and the 800,000 square feet that Apple’s looking to take down for their autonomous cars as well.”While the size Coleman references is fairly big, car production plants tend to be even larger. Tesla's Fremont, California factory is 5.3 million square feet while Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan plant, one of its smaller factories, is 2.9 million square feet. For comparison, Apple's new headquarters is 2.8 million square feet while Google's Mountain View campus is 4.8 million square feet. In recent months Apple has been leasing more space repeatedly for its car project in the Bay Area. In March, Apple leased a former Pepsi bottling plant in Sunnyvale, California. The Cupertino company has also leased and purchased several smaller, secret buildings likely being used to develop Apple Car technologies. In January, Apple gained approval from the San Jose city council to develop a 4.15 million-square-foot campus in the city. The WSJ also notes that Apple is in the process of growing its Apple Car team, which had 600 employees last year. Earlier today, it was reported that Apple had hired a former Google employee with experience in electric vehicle charging.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Immersion, a company that develops and licenses haptic touch feedback technology, today filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, accusing the MacBook and MacBook Pro of violating one patent and the iPhone 6s of violating three additional patents not mentioned in the original lawsuit. According to Immersion, iPhone 6s and MacBook features like 3D Touch and the Force Touch trackpad infringe on its intellectual property. The four patents included in today's lawsuit are as follows: - U.S. Patent No. 8,749,507: "Systems and Methods for Adaptive Interpretation of Input from a Touch-Sensitive Input Device" - U.S. Patent No. 7,808,488: "Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations" - U.S. Patent No. 8,581,710: "Systems and Methods for Haptic Confirmation of Commands" - U.S. Patent No. 7,336,260: "Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations" The fourth patent is the one that Immersion accuses the MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro of violating, and AT&T, while named in the iPhone 6s claim, is not named in the MacBook infringement claim. According to Immersion, the Force Touch trackpad built into these products uses haptic feedback technology belonging to Immersion. Apple's Force Touch trackpad utilizes haptic feedback to mimic the feeling of pressing on a physical button. The trackpad is able to distinguish between a light press and a harder press, with the pressure-sensitivity used to enable different gestures. In the original lawsuit filed in February of 2016, Immersion accused Apple and AT&T of infringing on three patents with the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Immersion has added AT&T to the lawsuit because AT&T sells Apple products and offers guides, directions, and other materials that "encourage and facilitate infringing use by others." Immersion's patent lawsuit, in which the company requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory damages, is accompanied by a second complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking an inclusion order to prevent the sale of the accused Apple devices in the United States.Tags: lawsuit, patents, Immersion Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook's fourth annual CharityBuzz auction ended this afternoon, raising more than $500,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The auction, which garnered more than 40 bids, includes a one hour lunch date with Tim Cook At Apple's Cupertino headquarters along with passes to a forthcoming Apple keynote event. Two people are able to attend the lunch meeting with Cook, with the experience set to last for approximately one hour. While lunch is included in the price of the auction, travel and accommodations are not. The otter expires on May 5, 2017, and the winner will be able to schedule their appointment on a "mutually agreed upon date." In the final hours of the auction, bidding ramped up significantly, jumping from $275,000 yesterday afternoon to the more than $500,000 finishing price. Image via 9to5Mac At $515,000, the 2016 CharityBuzz auction brought in more money than it did in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, the auction raised $200,000, while in 2015, it brought in $330,001. In 2013, the first year the auction was held, someone paid $610,000 to have lunch with Cook. It's possible the auction winner will be able to use the keynote event tickets to attend the keynote for the Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple is expected to debut new versions of iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS, and perhaps new Mac models. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, a charity Tim Cook has supported for several years. Earlier in 2016, Tim Cook was elected to the RFK Center's board of directors.Tags: Tim Cook, CharityBuzz Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced a new partnership with SAP to "revolutionize" the mobile work experience for its enterprise customers by combining native iPhone and iPad apps with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. Under the partnership, Apple and SAP will create a new software development kit and training academy to help developers and enterprise customers create tailored business-focused iOS apps. "This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP's deep expertise in business software," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "As the leader in enterprise software and with 76% of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad. Through the new SDK, we're empowering SAP's more than 2.5 million developers to build powerful native apps that fully leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform and tap into the incredible capabilities that only iOS devices can deliver."The new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK will be developed exclusively for iOS and will give enterprise customers simple tools for "quickly and efficiently" building apps for iPhone and iPad based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. According to the press release, the native apps will provide access to core data and business processes on SAP HANA while also taking advantage of Apple hardware features like Touch ID, Location Services, and Notifications. Under the partnership, a new SAP Fiori iOS design language will be created, and SAP will also develop a suite of native iOS apps for "critical business operations" built on Apple's Swift programming language.Tag: SAP Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
MacRumors has received multiple tips about an ongoing App Store issue preventing a number of popular iOS apps from showing up in search results unless already installed, including Google, Periscope, Spotify, Tidal, Tumblr, Waze, and many others. The search issues appear to be widespread, affecting iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Apple's system status page has not been updated to reflect any reported issues as of 4:30 a.m. Pacific. Check back for updates…Tags: App Store, system status Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Los Angeles police investigators have discovered a workable method to bypass the hardened security features of a locked iPhone 5s, according to The Los Angeles Times. In court documents seen by the newspaper yesterday, LAPD detectives found a "forensic cellphone expert" who could unlock the iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of "The Shield" actor Michael Jace, who is accused of killing her at their L.A. home in 2014. The claim appeared in a search warrant filed during the same period that the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the earlier model iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. In that high-profile case, the FBI eventually unlocked the phone with the help of professional hackers, paying them up to $1 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability. According to FBI director James Comey, the method obtained by the bureau only worked on a "narrow slice of phones", which did not include models of the iPhone 5s and after, presumably because the latter devices are equipped with Apple's proprietary Secure Enclave, a separate security-hardened portion of the core processing chip with its own secure boot and personalized software where private encryption keys are stored and used to secure data. Prior to the the FBI's acquisition of its hacking method, several security experts warned that the ability the bureau sought from Apple would in fact work on later devices, while Apple claimed back in February that the method the FBI asked it for to unlock an iPhone 5c was also possible on newer devices with the Secure Enclave. According to TechCrunch, Apple said at the time that the technical solutions would be different than they are on the iPhone 5c, but not impossible. According to The Times, the search warrant filed in the April Jace killing did not detail the method used by the LAPD to open the later-model iPhone 5s, nor did police reveal the identity of the cellphone expert. It's also unclear what operating system April Jace's phone had. The iPhone 5s has been at the center of the investigation after it was claimed that the actor and his wife argued "about their relationship" via text message shortly before he is alleged to have shot her. Michael Jace's attorneys successfully persuaded a judge to delay his murder trial, arguing that the dead woman's phone should undergo a more exhaustive search than one initially conducted by police. Shortly after her killing, April Jace's cellphone was locked by a passcode, which "hindered" the investigation. But in January 2015, an Apple technician was ordered by an L.A. judge to help police extract data from the phone, according to the search warrant. That attempt apparently failed to obtain any information and a second attempt by the L.A. County district attorney's office the same month left the phone "disabled". The following month, authorities tried to inspect the iPhone but it didn't even turn on, the warrant stated. But in March, investigators learned that a forensic cellphone expert could "override" the security features and let authorities view the phone's contents. A senior investigator with the district attorney's office was apparently then able to examine the phone in April. Jace, 53, is currently awaiting trial in the case. Last week it was reported that the FBI will not reveal to Apple the method it used to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, because it does not have the rights to the technical data about how the method functions. Apple wants details on the flaw so a fix can be implemented. Until it does, the FBI can keep using the vulnerability so long as it remains unpatched. Amid its dispute with the FBI, reports suggest Apple has already begun work on implementing stronger security measures to protect iOS devices in order to counter the threat of hackers rather than the government. Apple has also said it has revamped its internal security teams. 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 19 days ago on mac rumors
Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, co-founders of Siri, the virtual assistant now built into all of Apple's iOS devices, are set to demonstrate their newest artificial intelligence project on Monday, reports The Washington Post. Viv, the name of the AI bot, is more advanced than Siri and is able to carry out complex tasks by mimicking the "spontaneity and knowledge base" of a human assistant. Viv can, for example, set up a dinner reservation and purchase movie tickets all based on one query, parsing ticket prices to find deals and offering suggestions if a movie is sold out or a restaurant has no seating available. Completing the same task with Siri would require multiple commands and human interaction. In an example given by The Washington Post, the Viv team uses it to order pizzas from a nearby restaurant, with Viv parsing numerous voice-based topping and side dish orders without ever needing to open an app. Image via The Washington Post Much of Viv's functionality is enabled through integration with third-party apps like Uber, Florist One, SeatGuru, ZocDoc, and Grubhub, similar to Amazon's Alexa. The team behind Viv is in talks to bring on more partners and plans bring the Viv technology to a variety of Internet-connected devices like cars and TVs. Grubhub chief executive Matt Maloney said he rushed to sign up with Viv two years ago, impressed with the idea of allowing consumers to perform different activities without having to toggle between services. "No one has been able to say, 'I want the movie ticket, and the bottle of wine, and some flowers on the side' -- all in one breath," he said.The goal with Viv, according to Kittlaus, is to offer a way for humans to interact naturally with services through complex human-to-human style conversations, a project Kittlaus and Cheyer have been pursuing since before the development of Siri. Siri was built around the same premise, but underwent changes under Apple's leadership. "Steve [Jobs] had some ideas about the first version, and it wasn't necessarily aligned with all the things that we were doing," Kittlaus told The Washington Post. Google and Facebook have already made offers to purchase Viv, but it is not clear if Kittlaus and Cheyer have plans to sell the technology. The Viv Labs team wants to see the technology built into a wide range of devices, and Kittlaus says the company will "pick the path that gets us there."Tags: Siri, Viv Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Internet-based subscription television plans are growing in popularity, and YouTube is the latest company rumored to be working on a standalone television service. According to Bloomberg, YouTube is developing a paid subscription service called "Unplugged," offering a bundle of channels for a set price. YouTube has already built the infrastructure necessary for the service and is prioritizing its development for a 2017 debut. YouTube has been in talks with major media companies like NBCUniversal, Viacom, Fox, and CBS, but has not yet been able to secure rights for the service. YouTube is said to be aiming to build a streaming service similar to the service Apple hoped to offer before putting its streaming TV plans on hold. It would include a "skinny bundle" of channels from the four major U.S. networks along with a few popular cable channels priced at around $35 per month. YouTube is also considering plans offering a collection of less-watched television channels or smaller groups of channels built around different themes, such as comedy or lifestyle.YouTube would charge one subscription for the main bundle, and extra, smaller monthly fees for these theme-based groups, one of the people said. Using this approach, YouTube could show it is capable of bringing new viewers to many of these second-tier channels, a major concern for large media companies that depend on TV for most of their profits. If YouTube can make it work, media companies may be more open to including more-successful channels later, one of the people familiar said.Along with YouTube, Hulu is also building its own competing streaming television service. News of Hulu's plan surfaced earlier this week and was confirmed this morning by Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. Hulu's subscription model will offer customers cable-style access to popular broadcast television networks and cable channels to complement its existing streaming service, plus it will include a cloud-based DVR feature. Hulu is also aiming to launch its live TV subscription plan in 2017 and is close to signing deals with partners like Disney and Fox. Pricing for the service has not yet been announced, but rumors suggest it will be available for around $40."This means our viewers will be able to enjoy live sports, news and events all in real-time without a traditional cable or satellite subscription," said Hopkins. "We're going to fuse the best of linear television and on-demand in a deeply personalized experience optimized for the contemporary, always-connected television fan."As network executives grow accustomed to establishing deals for streaming television services, Apple may be able to revisit its television plans. Apple has been working on some kind of subscription TV service for several years, but executives have not been able to establish deals with content owners. Apple's latest streaming plans reportedly fell apart because media companies demanded more money than Apple wanted to charge for its TV service and were reluctant to unbundle channels.Tags: YouTube, Hulu Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Kohl's has announced that customers can now pay for their purchases with Kohl’s Charge store-branded credit cards and simultaneously earn Yes2You Rewards loyalty points with a single tap using Apple Pay. The combined functionality is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl’s stores in the United States, and the department store chain expects one-tap checkout to be available in all stores nationwide later this month. Kohl's is the first retailer to offer a one-tap solution for payments and rewards using Apple Pay. Customers can simply add both their Kohl's Charge and Yes2You Rewards cards to Apple Pay and simultaneously pay and collect loyalty points upon checkout with one Touch ID tap for verification. Kohl's has supported Apple Pay since June 2015, and last October it became the first retailer to allow store-branded cards to be used with the iPhone-based contactless payments service. JCPenney is also rolling out store card support.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tag: Kohl's Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to overhaul its year-old music streaming service to make it "more easier to use", according to people familiar with the matter (via Bloomberg News). The company is set to redesign the user interface to make it more intuitive, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are yet to be made public. Apple also means to significantly enhance the integration of its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service. According to Bloomberg, a full reboot of Apple Music is to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and will be accompanied by a fresh marketing campaign to entice customers to the subscription-based service, which currently costs $10 per month. Apple Music was introduced with much fanfare back in June 2015. While many commentators gave generally positive reviews, the service was criticized for its muddled interface and dearth of features. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift penned an open letter to the Cupertino company criticizing it for not paying artists during the service's free three-month trial and explaining her decision not to make her album 1989 available to stream on Apple Music. Artists have also complained that Apple Music's social aspect, called Connect, "fails miserably" in its aims. Apple has struggled to integrate its employees and unite the streaming and downloading businesses into a cohesive music strategy, according to the latest report. As a result, the service is now being overseen by content head Robert Kondrk and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. Design chief Jony Ive's team has also been involved, along with former Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and senior VP of Internet services Eddy Cue. Apple Music has reached 13 million subscribers, announced Apple CEO Tim Cook at last week's earnings call. The figure was 2 million higher than that reported in February, indicating a growth rate on par with industry-leading streaming service Spotify.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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