posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is rumored to be planning to host a March event to unveil new products, but exact details on what will be shown off at the event have been in flux. An early December rumor from 9to5Mac suggested Apple would use the event to unveil a second-generation Apple Watch, but a report from TechCrunch indicated that rumor was false - no Apple Watch 2 is in the works for an early 2016 launch. Instead, TechCrunch shared information indicating something smaller but still watch-related could be introduced in March, perhaps a minor update to add a FaceTime camera or new bands and partnerships similar to Apple's collaboration with Hermès. In a new report on what may come out at the March event, 9to5Mac backtracks on earlier claims of an Apple Watch 2 and instead agrees with TechCrunch, pointing towards a new Apple Watch lineup with new bands but no hardware changes. At its September 2015 event, Apple introduced its Hermès partnership and debuted new colors for several Apple Watch bands, and we may see the same kind of update at the March event. New colors for existing bands and bands in new materials may be in the works. Apple is also planning to release watchOS 2.2 at or shortly after the event. Apple's March event may also see the debut of the rumored 4-inch iPhone, now thought to be called the "iPhone 5se" to reflect its position as a successor to the iPhone 5s. The device is said to have an iPhone 5s-style exterior with iPhone 6-style curved cover. Internally, it will feature an A8 or A9 processor, NFC support for Apple Pay, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and while it won't have 3D Touch, it will be capable of taking Live Photos. Previous rumors have suggested we could also see the next-generation iPad Air at the March event, as it is said to be debuting in the spring of 2016. Though no Apple Watch 2 update is planned for early 2016, a second-generation update is undoubtedly in the works. It's possible Apple could be planning to release a new Apple Watch in the fall months alongside the iPhone 7. Apple's plans for a March event remain tentative, and should products not be ready for release, there's a possibility that it could be canceled in favor of an online-only unveiling and announcement for the 4-inch iPhone and new Apple Watch bands.Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, Apple Watch, watchOS 2, iPhone 6c (2016) Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Don't Buy), Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Rumors suggesting Apple is working on an updated 4-inch iPhone have been circulating since the launch of the iPhone 6, but information that's leaked out about the device has varied quite a bit between news sources. While some rumors pointed towards a 4-inch iPhone equivalent in power to the iPhone 6s, others suggested it would be a lower-end device modeled after the iPhone 5s. New information shared by 9to5Mac and Chinese website MyDrivers [Google Translate] adds to the growing body of evidence pointing towards an iPhone 5s-style device that's a step down from the iPhone 6s, potentially set to be called the "iPhone 5se" to denote its position as an upgraded version of the iPhone 5s. With the iPhone 5se, Apple may be aiming to introduce a device that's going to deliver up-to-date features to customers who prefer smaller devices while still refraining from competing with its flagship 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones. The 4-inch iPhone in development is rumored to look like an iPhone 5s Recent rumors have suggested the 4-inch iPhone will have a body that's similar enough to the iPhone 5s that the two devices will be able to share cases and other accessories, but there will be some design differences. The shiny edges that were featured on the iPhone 5s will be replaced with a curved cover glass like the iPhone 6 and 6s. The iPhone 5se is expected to incorporate the same 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera used in the iPhone 6, along with an improved autofocusing ability, support for larger panoramas, and the ability to capture Live Photos (but no 3D Touch). As has been rumored, it will include an NFC chip to enable Apple Pay, and features like Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac WiFi. It may be available in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold, or just three of those colors. Rumors are unclear. According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone 5se will use the same A8 and M8 chips that are in the iPhone 6, while the report from MyDrivers suggests it could come with an A9 chip. Rumors about Apple's 4-inch iPhone have consistently disagreed on the chip that it will use, split between the A8 and the A9. MyDrivers supplies additional information on RAM, pricing, and battery life. In a somewhat questionable claim, the site says that Apple is sourcing 1GB and 1.2GB RAM from two suppliers. Previous rumors have said the 4-inch iPhone will include 1GB RAM. The iPhone 5se may include a 1,624 mAh battery, which would last longer than the battery in the iPhone 5s, and according to MyDrivers, it may only be available in 16 and 64GB capacities at prices that start at 3688 Yuan or $560. Mass production on the 4-inch screen for iPhone 5se is said to have kicked off this week, and while iPhone 6c/5se rumors have disagreed on many prospective features, all rumors have pointed towards an early 2016 release date. Apple is said to be planning a March event to unveil new products, and it's possible that could be where Apple is planning to debut its 4-inch iPhone.Related Roundup: iPhone 6c (2016) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
AnandTech today published an in-depth iPad Pro review with detailed hardware and software analysis, including an interesting performance comparison between the tablet's dual-core A9X chip and Intel's Core M processors. The test was conducted to determine to what level Apple's custom ARM chips have caught up to the performance of Intel's Core M lineup, given Apple's continued advancements in architecture and manufacturing, compared to Intel's slower rate of growth over its last few generations of Core processors. The review pitted the iPad Pro's A9X chip against various Core M devices, including the Broadwell-based 12-inch Retina MacBook with a low-end Core M chip and ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi with a high-end Core M chip, and Skylake-based ASUS ZenBook UX305CA with a base-tier Core m3 CPU. The SPECint2006† benchmark results reveal that the iPad Pro is competitive with the Retina MacBook and Asus ZenBook UX305CA in certain tests, winning half of the benchmarks against each device, but the tablet lags behind in overall performance. Meanwhile, the high-end ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi unsurprisingly beat the iPad Pro in every category. Evidently, Intel's Core M lineup continues to lead in overall performance, but Apple is quickly closing the gap.A9X can compete with both Broadwell and Skylake Core M processors, and that’s something Apple couldn’t claim even a generation ago. That it’s only against the likes of Core m3 means that Apple still has a way to go, particularly as A9X still loses by more than it wins, but it’s significant progress in a short period of time and I’ll wager that it’s closer than Intel would like to be, especially if Apple puts A9X into a cheaper iPad Air in the future.Apple's progress is notable given multiple rumors that suggest the company may release ARM-based Macs in the future. In this scenario, Apple would replace the Intel chips it currently uses in Macs with custom designed A-series chips, allowing the company to better time processor upgrades with new product launches. On multiple occasions, Apple has had to hold off on updating its Mac lineup while waiting for Intel's latest generations of processors. In January 2015, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo projected that Apple could begin launching ARM-based Macs within one or two years based on its custom chip designs. As these A9X benchmarks show, however, the use of A-series chips in Macs would very likely be limited to lower-end devices like the 12-inch Retina MacBook at first. In May 2014, French website MacBidouille reported that Apple has prototyped several ARM-based machines, including an iMac, Mac mini and 13" notebook with 4-8 64-bit ARM quad-core processors, and new keyboards with large-format Magic Trackpads, but many doubted the feasibility of moving forward with such a plan. Nearly two years later, the prospect of Apple releasing ARM-based Mac remains questionable, especially for high-end Macs, but the A9X chip is evidence that Apple's A-series processors are increasingly rivaling the performance of Intel's entry-level offerings. At the very least, it gives Apple options moving forward. † SPECint2006 is a CPU-intensive cross-platform benchmark that tests processors based on a wide range of real-life usage scenarios, ranging from video compression to PERL execution to AI. For a detailed technical explanation of the SPEC CPU benchmark and its 12 sub-benchmarks, read the full review.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
As reported earlier in the week, the special edition Apple Watch Hermès collection today became available for purchase online, letting customers purchase the high-end editions from the online storefronts of both Apple and Hermès. The collection comes in ten models, all branching off of three band varieties -- the Single Tour, Double Tour, and Cuff -- and was introduced by Apple at its September iPhone event. Each model of the Hermès collection includes a stainless steel Apple Watch case, and gives users a unique Hermès clock face for the wearable device. The pricing for the collection begins with the Single Tour band for $1,100, Double Tour for $1,250, and Cuff for $1,500. The Single Tour is the only one of the collection available in both 38mm and 42mm case sizes, with the Double Tour exclusively sold in 38mm and the Cuff only available in 42mm. To purchase one of the Apple Watches in the Hermès collection, visit the online store of Apple or Hermès.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Japan Display today announced that it will begin the mass production of OLED panels in 2018 (via Reuters), confirming a rumor from December that the company would do so in attempts to be the supplier of OLED panels in a future iPhone model. This would put Japan Display -- a joint venture between Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi -- in direct competition with LG Display and Samsung in the production of the rumored OLED-supported iPhone. "We will take advantage of our advanced thin-film transistor technology in developing OLED screens," Akio Takimoto, chief of Japan Display's research center, told reporters on Friday. Japan Display, in addition to rival Sharp, already supplies the manufacturing of LCD panels for Apple's iPhone. In 2015, estimates of an iPhone supporting OLED panels -- which would be the first non-LCD model since the original iPhone -- put it off for at least the next three years, aligning with Japan Display's plans for the mass production of OLED panels. Recent OLED rumors suggested that Apple's new Taiwanese lab could potentially focus on adopting OLED and micro-LED technology for future iPhone models. Towards the end of last year, a report also claimed that Apple is "close" to signing a final agreement with Samsung and LG Display in regards to OLED manufacturing for the so-called "iPhone 8." According to that report, both manufacturers are planning to spend $12.8 billion combined to prepare for the production of OLED in 2018's iPhone.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tags: Japan Display Inc, OLED Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to Europe this week to meet with European Commission antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in Brussels on Thursday, before heading to Rome on Friday to meet Pope Francis and Italian developers. Cook first met with Vestager to lobby against an European tax investigation that could force the iPhone and iPad maker to pay more than $8 billion in back taxes on overseas earnings, according to Bloomberg. European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Image: Hungary Today) Apple is accused of operating multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to avoid paying higher taxes outside the United States, where it earns just under 60% of its revenue. Apple books its taxes in Ireland using low operating costs, allowing it to pay a foreign tax rate of only 1.8%, according to the report. If the European Commission finds wrongdoing with Apple’s corporate arrangement in Ireland, the company's $64.1 billion in profit generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% corporate tax rate -- just over $8 billion in back taxes. A decision in the probe could be made by March, but may take longer due to additional information requested by European regulators. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative verdict. Meanwhile, the agenda of Cook's meeting with Pope Francis remains private. The 15-minute discussion was held at 11:30 a.m. local time. Pope Francis is known to incorporate technology into his position. While he admitted not knowing how to use a computer, he is the first Pope to use Twitter, and his old iPad was auctioned for $30,500 last year. On Thursday, Cook tweeted about Apple's newly announced iOS development center in Italy, and said the company has created over 1.4 million jobs across Europe.Apple has created over 1.4m jobs across Europe 🇪🇺 and we're announcing a center for aspiring iOS developers in Italy https://t.co/v9RLYX6u6u— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 21, 2016Great to meet talented Italian developers today with @matteorenzi in Rome pic.twitter.com/2DcRPMYNHD— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 22, 2016Cook met some of those iOS developers on Friday alongside Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. 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.Tags: Tim Cook, Italy, European Commission, Europe, Pope Francis Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
It's common knowledge that Apple and Google have a monetary agreement that ensures Google's position as the default search engine on Apple's iOS devices, but the details of that deal have been kept under wraps, until now. A recent court transcript from Oracle's copyright lawsuit against Google was obtained by Bloomberg and sheds some light on the agreement, suggesting Google pays out a lot of money to keep its search bar on Apple's iPhones and iPads. Apple receives a percentage of the revenue that Google earns from searches made on iOS devices, and in 2014, Apple's payout from Google totaled $1 billion. That information mirrors a similar rumor from 2012 that also suggested Google was paying Apple upwards of $1 billion. The current cut Apple receives from the advertising revenue Google collects isn't known, but according to a Google witness questioned during the Oracle-Google lawsuit, the revenue share was at 34 percent "at one point in time." According to Bloomberg, it was not made clear in the transcript if 34 percent is the amount Apple received or the amount Google got to keep.An attorney for Google objected to the information being disclosed and attempted to have the judge strike the mention of 34 percent from the record. "That percentage just stated, that should be sealed," lawyer Robert Van Nest said, according to the transcript. "We are talking hypotheticals here. That's not a publicly known number."Both Google and Apple attempted to have the court records blocked from public review because the information is "extremely confidential," but a judge denied the request. Google went on to ask the court to seal the transcript because the release of the information could affect its negotiations with other companies. The company's request was presumably granted, as Bloomberg says the transcript is no longer available. Apple and Google's search contract was reportedly set to end in 2015, sparking speculation that Apple could terminate the agreement in favor of working with Microsoft or Yahoo. Yahoo and Microsoft were both interested in inking a deal with Apple to overthrow Google as the default search engine on iOS devices, but as no shift to another search engine has been made, it appears Google and Apple may have established a renewed agreement. In a May 2015 interview, Google's chief business officer Omid Kordestani said Google wanted to continue its partnership with Apple. "We'd love to continue our partnership with them and doing our best to work with them, and that's all I can say for now," he said.Tag: Google Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has hired Doug Bowman, one of the U.S.' leading virtual reality experts, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Bowman joined Apple after going on sabbatical from his job as a computer science professor at Virginia Tech. His experience spans both fully immersive VR, as used in Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive headsets, as well as augmented reality, where transparent visors such as Microsoft’s Hololens, Google Glass and secretive start-up Magic Leap mingle digital images with the real world still visible.Bowman has been director of Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction for the past five years. He's also the lead author of the book "3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practice." His past experience also includes serving as a User Experience Consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering and honors like numerous IEEE awards for 3D user interfaces and technical achievements in virtual reality. Bowman's LinkedIn page had not been updated to reflect the hiring and has since been deleted. In the past year, Apple has acquired three companies with experience in either augmented reality or virtual reality. It acquired augmented reality startup Metaio last may, real-time motion capture firm Faceshift last September and expression analysis startup Emotient a couple weeks ago. It's unclear what Apple could have Bowman and its acquired companies working on, but there have been persistent rumors the company has been interested in VR. Apple has filed several patents for VR products, including video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS and 3D "hyper reality" displays. It's also been reported that the company has a "small team" working on virtual reality projects.Tags: augmented reality, Virtual Reality Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently began offering the 12-inch Retina MacBook in its online store for refurbished products, marking the first time refurbished versions of the Retina MacBook have been made available for purchase. Released in April of 2015, the Retina MacBook is Apple's thinnest, lightest Mac product, measuring in at just 13.1mm thick and weighing 2 pounds. The machine has a full edge-to-edge keyboard, a fanless design enabled by a low power Core-M chip from Intel, and a Retina Display. While the main refurbished site does not yet have a listing for the Retina MacBook, refurbished models are available on a dedicated MacBook page. All of the refurbished machines are available at a 15 percent discount. Apple has four refurbished Retina MacBook models for sale at the current time, including two entry-level 1.1GHz models for $1,099, a $200 discount, and two higher end models. The 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Retina MacBook in Silver is available for $1,359, a $240 discount, while an upgraded 1.3GHz/8GB/512GB machine in Silver is available for $1,489, $260 off the regular price of $1,749. For many months after its launch, Retina MacBook supplies were constrained. Shipping estimates were upwards of a month for most models, and most Apple retail stores received very little stock. Personal Pickup for the MacBook wasn't available until August, four months after it was released. Refurbished editions of newly released Macs often show up in the refurbished store after a few months, but the supply issues may explain why refurbished MacBook models haven't previously been available. Apple's refurbished inventory fluctuates on a regular basis based on available supply, so models that are available today may not be available tomorrow. All of Apple's refurbished products are tested, certified, and come with a one-year warranty. (Thanks, Matt!)Related Roundup: Retina MacBook Buyer's Guide: MacBook (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared a new Apple TV ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the many apps and games that are available on the device through the dedicated tvOS App Store. Entitled "The Future of TV is Apps," the ad features an Apple TV set-top box that morphs to match the theme of each app that's shown off in the spot. Netflix, Apple Music, WatchESPN, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Disney Infinity, Gilt, GrubHub, Showtime, Crossy Road, HBO Now, and Fox Now, are among the apps that are featured. The ad ends with the brightly colored television test bars that have been used in all fourth-generation Apple TV advertisements. Since the Apple TV 4 launched in October, Apple has been promoting it through a series of television ads, colorful billboards displayed across a number of cities, web ads, and social media campaigns. Today's ad is the second in the company's app-focused series.Related Roundup: Apple TV Tag: Apple ads Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
As the argument over smartphone encryption continues on between device manufacturers like Apple, devoted to strong encryption, and U.S. federal government officials pushing for backdoors to access data, several states have gotten involved in the fray. New York State Assemblymember Matthew Titone introduced a bill last summer that would require smartphone manufacturers to create devices that can be decrypted or unlocked or face fines, and now California State Assemblymember Jim Cooper is following in his footsteps. Cooper on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require any smartphone manufactured after January 1, 2017 and sold in California to "be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider." Violations carry a $2,500 fee per phone. Should such a bill pass, it would, like the New York bill, affect both Apple and Google. iOS and Android have default encryption settings that do not allow the companies to access locked customer phones. Starting with iOS 8, Apple ceased storing encryption keys for iOS devices, making it impossible for the company to unlock content on passcode-protected devices under police request. In a conversation with Ars Technica, Cooper argued that giving local law enforcement officials the tools to access unencrypted smartphones using warrants to fight crimes like human trafficking was not the same as giving the NSA or CIA unfettered access."If you're a bad guy [we] can get a search record for your bank, for your house, you can get a search warrant for just about anything," Cooper told Ars in a brief phone call on Wednesday afternoon. "For the industry to say it's privacy, it really doesn't hold any water. We're going after human traffickers and people who are doing bad and evil things. Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it."In a meeting with White House officials last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook urged the Obama administration to issue a strong public statement defending unbreakable encryption and to adopt a "no backdoors" policy. In all of his recent interviews, Cook has spoken passionately about Apple's commitment to user privacy and its strong stance on encryption. "There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor," Cook told Charlie Rose in December. "But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door's for everybody, for good guys and bad guys." 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 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is offering 50 percent off a range of productivity apps as part of a "Get Productive" iOS App Store promotion that's taking place this week. Each app is available at a 50 percent discount from its regular App Store pricing. Many well-known apps like Clear, Things, Drafts 4, and Deliveries are included in the promotion. Available apps cover a wide range of productivity tasks, from note-taking and editing PDFs to creating to-dos, making scans, converting currency, and more. A full list of apps and their pricing with the discount is below: - PDF Expert 5, a PDF editing tool - $4.99 - Duet Display, for using an iPad or iPhone as a second monitor - $7.99 - Things, a popular and powerful to-do app - $4.99 - PCalc, a calculator app - $4.99 - Clear, a list making app - $1.99 - Drafts 4, a quick note-taking app - $4.99 - Prizmo, a scanning app - $4.99 - Moleskine Timepage, a calendar app - $1.99 - Genius Scan+, a scanning app - $2.99 - Due, a reminders/timers app - $2.99 - Deliveries, a package tracking app - $1.99 - Carbo, an app for making handwritten notes - $3.99 - Numerics, an app for visualizing numbers in charts and widgets - $4.99 - Amount Plus, a unit and currency converter - $0.99 Some of these apps have Mac counterparts that are also being offered at a 50 percent discount, including PCalc, Things, Clear, and Prizmo. Apple's App Store promo sales often last from Thursday to Thursday, so these discounts should be available for the next six days. In a separate sale, password management app 1Password for Mac is available from the Mac App Store at a 50 percent off discount, dropping the price to $24.99. This is the lowest price AgileBits has offered for several months, and at $24.99, 1Password is well worth picking up. The iOS app is a free download.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
A number of tech blogs have shared a video from Chinese website M.I.C. Gadget that claims to provide the first real look at Apple's next-generation 4-inch iPhone, but there are some clues to suggest the mystery smartphone may simply be a regular 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. First and foremost, the distance between the speaker grille, pentalobe screws, Lightning connector, headphone jack and microphones appears to be the same as the iPhone 6s. If this were truly the so-called "iPhone 6c," those components would need to be closer together on the bottom of the smartphone. The display width also appears to resemble an iPhone 6s compared to the size of the home button, but exact measurements are hard to determine without an object for scale. The lack of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus for comparison also makes the video more questionable. M.I.C. Gadget has accurately leaked some iPhone, iPad and iPod touch components in the past, so there remains a slim possibility this video truly depicts a new 4-inch iPhone. The website has also aggregated a number of false leaks and rumors, however, so the authenticity of this video remains in doubt. The much-rumored "iPhone 6c" may feature a 64-bit Apple A8 chip, 1GB of RAM, 16GB and 64GB storage sizes, 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera, improved FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture, Apple Pay, Touch ID, VoLTE calling and more. The smartphone could launch by the end of March for around $500.Related Roundup: iPhone 6c (2016) Tag: micgadget.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has announced that it will be opening its first iOS app development center in Europe at a partner institution in Naples, Italy. Apple expects to expand this program to other countries around the world in the future. The center will provide a specialized curriculum for students to learn practical skills and training on developing iOS apps, and Apple will work with partners around Italy who train developers to create additional opportunities for students. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company's ecosystem now supports 1.4 million jobs in Europe, including 1.2 million jobs attribute to the app economy. In Italy, specifically, Apple said over 75,000 jobs are linked to the App Store.“Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world and we’re thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The phenomenal success of the App Store is one of the driving forces behind the more than 1.4 million jobs Apple has created in Europe and presents unlimited opportunities for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the continent.”Apple recorded a record-breaking $1.1 billion in App Store sales during the 2015 holiday season. Christmas Day and New Year's Day both set single-day records, with customers spending over $144 million on January 1, 2016 in particular. Apple has now paid European developers over €10.2 billion since the App Store launched.Tags: Italy, iOS App Development Center Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
With the iOS 9.3 beta, Apple introduced a new feature called Night Shift. It's designed to cut down the amount of blue light an iOS device puts out in the evening, as Apple noted that studies have shown that blue light can negatively impact sleep by altering the body's circadian rhythm. Today, reddit user nickjosephson spotted a Night Shift toggle in Control Center on Apple Canada's iOS 9.3 preview page. The Night Shift toggle sits next to the brightness slider in Control Center with two options available: "Turn On For Now" and "Turn On Until Tomorrow." While the toggle is shown on an iPad Air, it's likely the new feature works on iPhones as well, though it's unclear where the toggle would fit on the iPhone's smaller Control Center. The Night Shift toggle is not featured on the American version of the iOS 9.3 preview page, which instead shows Apple News' "For You" section. Apple News is not yet available in Canada, which is the likely reason why the images are different. Night Shift can be activated on 64-bit iOS devices running iOS 9.3 by toggling it on in the Display and Brightness section of the Settings app. Users can either create their own Night Shift schedule or allow iOS to turn it on after sunset and turn it off at sunrise. The Night Shift toggle is likely to make its debut in a future beta of iOS 9.3. The next beta is expected in the coming weeks.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tags: iOS 9.3, Night Shift Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Since the launch of Apple Music and its included Apple Music Connect social platform, Apple has been focusing efforts on its music creation tools, as evidenced by today's surprise release of a brand new iOS app called Music Memos and a significant update to the iOS version of GarageBand. Available for free, Music Memos is designed to allow musicians and songwriters to record, analyze, and manipulate high-quality uncompressed audio directly on an iPhone or iPad. Music Memos is accompanied by an update to GarageBand that introduces some fun new tools for musicians and average iPhone owners alike. We went hands-on with Music Memos and the revamped GarageBand to give MacRumors a closer look at what the apps are capable of. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Music Memos adopts its simple interface from the stock Voice Memos app, offering a single quick record button when the app is opened. Recordings can be overlaid with drums and a bass line, plus there are tools for analyzing recordings and editing aspects like tempo and time signature. There's also a built-in tuner for chromatic pitch notation. Today's GarageBand 2.1 update introduces Live Loops, a fun visual music-making feature designed to allow users to create loops and add DJ-style effects through multi-touch gestures. Live Loops are displayed in an easy-to-use grid, with each instrument or sample in a different cell. Sound can be manipulated tapping and mixing the different instruments and the Apple-designed loop templates that are available in genres like EDM, Hip Hop, and Rock. The Drummer feature from Logic Pro X and GarageBand for Mac has also been added to the new iOS version. Music Memos is compatible with the iPhone 4s and later and the iPad 2 and later. It can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] GarageBand for iOS is provided for free with the purchase of any new iOS device with 32GB to 128GB storage space, so many iOS users may be able to download the latest 2.1 update at no cost. For those who do not already own GarageBand, it is available from the App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link]Tags: GarageBand, Music Memos Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released Music Memos, an all-new iPhone and iPad app that is essentially an enhanced version of the stock Voice Memos app for songwriters. Music Memos is designed for musicians and songwriters to quickly and easily capture their impromptu song ideas on the fly, whenever inspiration strikes. The app has a simple user interface at first glance, with nothing but a small recording button, but tucked away behind tiny icons are several useful features. Recording To begin recording, simply open the Music Memos app and tap on the blue circle button. The user interface will turn red while recording. Alternatively, you can tap on the "Auto" label in the top-left corner and the app will automatically start and stop the recording based on your voice. As you are recording, the circle will pulsate to your voice, or musical instruments, and there is a waveform at the bottom of the screen. To finish recording, simply tap the red circle button and the snippet will appear at the bottom with a title, playback button, pitch notation, and other options. Tapping on the guitar or drum set icons overlays the music recording with drums and a bass line to provide a virtual, customizable backing band. Moreover, your snippet can be renamed, deleted, tagged, or rated on a five-star scale. The app also provides visual warnings if it detects your recording is too quiet or too loud. Editing Music Memos saves a list of your recordings, accessible by tapping the tray button at the top of the app. Tapping on a snippet's waveform brings up various editing options for tempo, time signature, downbeat, tuning and length. The app automatically analyzes your recording and displays musical measures and suggested chord names. Any chord names throughout your song can be renamed or provided further detail by tapping on them. There are also the options to trim the beginning and end of your recording, adjust the tempo, time signature and downbeat, and keep track of comments, lyric ideas, alternate guitar tunings, or capo position. Tuning Music Memos includes a built-in tuner for chromatic pitch notation, accessible by tapping the tuning fork button in the top-right corner. The tuner automatically shows a letter note once it detects sound. There are already several existing tuner apps on the App Store, including Guitar Tuna and Cleartune, but this is a convenient, all-in-one option that songwriters can use to both record musical ideas and tune their guitars. Exporting and Sharing Music Memos snippets, which are 24-bit 44.1kHz audio files, can be saved to iCloud Drive, exported to Logic Pro X and GarageBand for iOS or Mac, or shared directly on Apple Music Connect, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Simply tap on the tray button at the top, expand a recording from the list and tap the share button. Music Memos is free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.Tag: Music Memos Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
The launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus brought a new range of gestures to the iPhone, introducing 3D Touch. 3D Touch adds a pressure dimension to the traditional multi-touch controls on iOS devices to enable Peek and Pop, Quick Actions, pressure-sensitive drawing, and more. Because 3D Touch is an entirely new feature, it can be difficult to adjust to all of the available gestures and to find the hidden things that can be done with it. In the video below, we've rounded up some of the neatest 3D Touch abilities including a Peek gesture to view all Safari tabs, useful third-party Quick Actions, and cursor control. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. 3D Touch is limited to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus at the current time, but there have been rumors suggesting Apple is planning to expand it to additional devices in the future. Scaling it up to work with a larger screen has reportedly introduced some problems that Apple will need to work through before introducing 3D Touch on future iPads, but we can expect to see it in the upcoming iPhone 7. In a MacRumors Twitter poll conducted in December, 40 percent of 8,100 entrants said they don't use 3D Touch, while another 25 percent said they use the feature only occasionally. As a new feature, it takes some time for longtime iPhone owners to get used to incorporating new gestures into their daily usage routines. Do you use 3D Touch?— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) December 16, 2015 If you have additional favorite apps with useful Quick Actions or other notable use cases for 3D Touch, make sure to comment. For more information on using 3D Touch, make sure to check out our how to.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tag: 3D Touch Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced it has released a free iOS app called Music Memos that enables musicians and songwriters to record and analyze high-quality, uncompressed audio using the iPhone's built-in microphone, or an external microphone. The app is currently rolling out on the App Store worldwide. Music Memos displays a large recording button when first opened, along with a waveform at the bottom of the screen while recording. The app can analyze rhythm and chords of acoustic guitar and piano recordings, and instantly add drums and a bass line to provide a virtual, customizable backing band.Music Memos automatically analyzes the basic arrangement and suggests chords you played for each track. Then you can hear how your music sounds with a realistic virtual drummer and bass player jamming along. If your performance speeds up or slows down, so does the band. You can even tweak the energy and performance of the drums or bass with a few simple controls.Music Memo, which Apple says was inspired by Voice Memos, can tag songs based on sound, location or a rating, and recordings can be shared on Apple Music Connect, SoundCloud and YouTube. The app is closely integrated with GarageBand for iOS, which has received a major update today. GarageBand 2.1 for iOS introduces Live Loops, a new feature for creating music by tapping cells and columns in a grid to trigger different looped instruments and samples. Live Loops includes a preset library of Apple-designed loop templates in multiple genres, including EDM, Hip Hop, Dubstep and Rock, or you can create your own. The new GarageBand for iOS also adopts the Drummer feature from GarageBand and Logic Pro X on Mac, with nine EDM and acoustic virtual session drummers to choose from. The app also gained 3D Touch support, new automation features for advanced users, a new simple EQ and more. Music Memos is free on the App Store for iPhone 4s and later, and iPad 2 and later. GarageBand 2.1 for iOS is bundled free with new iOS devices 32GB and larger, is available as a free upgrade for existing users with compatible iOS 9 devices or later, and is otherwise available for $4.99 on the App Store.Tags: App Store, GarageBand, Music Memos Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Music Tracker, from developer Ben Dodson, is a new app designed to keep an eye on changes made to the music library on your iOS device. After downloading, the app scans a user's music library and then tracks all changes that are introduced, including new song additions, deletions, and metadata changes to details like the title, artist, album, and genre of owned tracks. Whenever a change is discovered, a notification is sent. While this is useful for those who like to monitor content and changes made manually to a music library to keep personal logs, it's perhaps best suited to Apple Music subscribers. There are instances where content available through the Apple Music service is deleted or changed due to licensing issues with record labels, and this app will allow users to keep track of potential deletions to replace missing music. As an example, Dodson cites a recent change to a studio recording of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," which was silently swapped over to a live version on Apple Music. Music Tracker noted the change and Dodson was able to find a replacement studio recording on another album. Music Tracker also includes a full Apple Watch app that provides music library details including exactly how many tracks are in a library and how many songs have been added, changed, or deleted each day. There's also a glance view with the same information and a complication for watch faces that support that feature. During the process of developing Music Tracker, Dodson ran into some potential privacy holes that he feels iOS users should be aware of. With many third-party iOS apps, accessing user information like location, contacts, or photos requires express user permission, but that's not the case with a music library. According to Dodson, apps are able to access a user's music library and send data on what's included back to a server, allowing it to be used for advertising or tracking purposes. An app can scan through an entire music library in mere seconds, gaining information on the music content you prefer, down to details like the song that's most often played. Dodson also believes this could be a way for advertisers and marketers to track users across multiple devices.When iOS first came out there was something called a UDID which basically identified your device uniquely. This was used by marketers to track you across multiple apps and build up a profile. This was stopped by Apple a few years back and replaced with an advertising identifier which you can turn off and which can only be used between apps from the same company (where they are probably already tracking you). However, with a full music library, it would be fairly easy to track someone across multiple apps as periodic snapshots could be compared on a server.Music Tracker, for its part, does not include any in-app purchases, does not require an Internet connection, and does not collect any library data from customers. Dodson says he doesn't know if there are apps that are already collecting music data from customers in the background, but he has filed a bug report with Apple to ask for a permissions feature to be implemented for the music library. Music Tracker can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for $0.99. [Direct Link]Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
A trio of carmakers have unveiled new vehicles with CarPlay and Android Auto support at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this month, including the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, 2017 Kia Forte5 and 2017 Lincoln Continental. All three models will be available in the first half of 2016. Kia's all-new 2017 Forte5 will feature CarPlay and Android Auto support The 2017 Ridgeline will mark Honda's return to the North American pickup truck market, which it exited after discontinuing the mid-size sport utility truck in 2014. Meanwhile, the 2017 Forte5 and 2017 Continental will be among Kia's and Lincoln's first CarPlay models in their vehicle lineups. Honda's 2016 Accord and 2016 Civic also feature CarPlay and Android Auto, while Kia has indicated later availability in the 2016 Optima. Lincoln is a luxury vehicle brand under Ford, which earlier this month announced it is adding CarPlay and Android Auto to all 2017 vehicles in North America equipped with its SYNC 3 platform. CarPlay and Android Auto will also be available in 2016 Ford vehicles with SYNC 3 as an upgrade later this year. CarPlay has finally experienced widespread adoption in 2016, nearly three years after being introduced as "iOS in the Car" at WWDC 2013. Toyota is one of the only major vehicle brands without a future commitment to CarPlay, although the Japanese carmaker remains listed as a CarPlay partner on Apple's website. The trio of new vehicles have yet to be added to Apple's new CarPlay available models list published on its website last week.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tags: Android Auto, Honda, Kia, Lincoln Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Starting on Friday, January 22, both Apple and Hermés will begin offering the special edition Apple Watch Hermés via their online storefronts, reports Fashionista. Since its October debut, the Apple Watch Hermés collection has only been available for purchase in select boutique and Apple retail locations in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Beijing. First introduced at Apple's September iPhone-centric event, the Hermés collection was made possible through a partnership between Apple and luxury brand Hermés. The collection consists of three strap options -- the Single Tour, Double Tour, and Cuff -- along with a stainless steel Apple Watch casing and a unique Hermés watch face. There are ten Hermés models in total, split between the three bands. Priced at $1,250, the leather Double Tour, which wraps twice around the wrist, includes a 38mm stainless steel watch case. It's available in four colors: Fauve, Etain, Capucine, and Bleu Jean. The Single Tour is a more classic design that includes a 38 or 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch at prices that start at $1,100. It too comes in several colors, including Fauve, Noir, and Capucine (38mm only). The Cuff, a thicker cuff-style band, is priced at $1,500 and ships with a 42mm stainless steel Apple watch. It's available only in Fauve. Both Apple.com and Hermes.com will be offering the full Hermés Apple Watch collection on their respective sites starting on January 22. The bands will continue to be sold as a set with a stainless steel Apple Watch and not on a standalone basis.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
ESPN president John Skipper spoke with The Wall Street Journal in an interview this morning, revealing some insider details on Apple's struggle to establish deals with content providers for a streaming television service. According to Skipper, Apple is "frustrated" by its ongoing inability to find a mutually advantageous way to work with programmers. Though no deals have been established, ESPN "continues" trying to work with Apple on some kind of partnership. They are creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience and that television experience is fabulous for sports. We are big proponents of believing it would be a fabulous place to sell some subscriptions. We have ongoing conversations. They have been frustrated by their ability to construct something which works for them with programmers. We continue to try to work with them.Skipper's comments are in line with recent rumors made by CBS CEO Les Moonves, who said Apple "pressed the hold button" on its streaming television plans after it was unable to establish the necessary deals. Rumors throughout 2015 suggested Apple was aiming to create a web-based television product that would offer a small bundle of channels for $30 to $40 per month. Apple has been attempting to create some kind of television service since 2009, but the company has run into resistance from cable and content providers time and time again because of a reluctance to interrupt existing revenue streams and fundamentally shift the way cable is provided. ESPN's deal with Sling TV, a service that offers streaming access to major cable channels, offers some insight into where Apple may be running into trouble establishing deals. There is an option in ESPN's contract with Sling TV that lets the deal be terminated should it cannibalize ESPN's core pay TV business, something Apple likely wouldn't have agreed to. Apple is also said to have run into trouble getting content providers to unbundle their channels. While Skipper believes 2016 will see "further announcements" of different streaming packages from new companies, it is not likely Apple will be among them. The company's content struggles have caused it to put its streaming service on hold, with plans to instead focus on the tvOS App Store and its position as a platform that gives media companies tools to sell content directly to customers.Related Roundup: Apple TV Tag: ESPN Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Each June, Apple holds its Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California, giving thousands of developers from around the world a chance to meet up with Apple engineers and sit in on valuable workshops and software sessions. Apple has not yet announced the dates for its 2016 conference, but based on scheduling information available from the Moscone Center, it appears there's only one narrow window that's potentially available -- June 13 to June 17. Dates in red are unavailable at Moscone West During the first, second, fourth, and fifth weeks of June, Moscone West is booked for a Travel Association Luncheon, a Biotechnology Industry Organization conference, an International Society for Stem Cell Research convention, and the Red Hat Summit. There's nothing on the calendar for the third week of June, suggesting that's when Apple will use the facility. Since 2007, Apple has held WWDC during the first few weeks of June, and the conference has always taken place at Moscone West due to the large number of attendees, so while there's no concrete information pointing towards Apple's WWDC plans, June 13 to 17 is a very solid guess based on past events. At WWDC, Apple holds a keynote event on the first day to introduce new software and new products. In 2016, we could potentially see new Macs or other hardware, and we will get our first look at OS X 10.12 and iOS 10. Apple's 2015 event was software and service centric, focusing on iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2, and Apple Music.Related Roundup: WWDC 2016 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 9.2.1 to the public, marking the first update to iOS 9 since iOS 9.2 launched in December of 2015. iOS 9.2.1 has been in testing since December 16, with developers and public beta testers receiving a total of three betas before its public launch. Today's iOS 9.2.1 release is available as an over-the-air update to all iOS 9 users. A minor update, iOS 9.2.1 is the fifth update to iOS 9 in total, following the launches of iOS 9.0.1, iOS 9.0.2, iOS 9.1, and iOS 9.2. iOS 9.2.1, as a 9.x.x update, is minor in scale, focusing mainly on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes rather than outward-facing changes. iOS 9.2.1 will be followed by iOS 9.3, which has also been seeded to developers for testing purposes. Set to be released in the spring, iOS 9.3 is a major update that introduces a new Night Shift feature to cut down on blue light exposure during the evening for better sleep and brings new educational features. iOS 9.3 also includes new Quick Actions for iPhone 6s users and it introduces updates for apps and features like Apple News, Notes, Health, Siri, CarPlay, and More.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.2.1 Discuss this article in our forums

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